"Dear Earth, Thank You for Nantucket Lighthouse School and Thank You for Friends."
-NLS Primary student at the year's first All School Meeting
FALL NEWS 2018
More Than Just A School
By Emily Miller, Head of School
We believe in the human urge to grow and to learn, and we respect the individual nature and
rhythm of each child’s path. (Excerpted from Nantucket Lighthouse School's philosophy)
In September, we host a series of Parent Nights. These evenings offer teachers an opportunity to discuss the curriculum, outline developmental characteristics of a particular age and address questions about the year ahead. It’s a wonderful way to open the school year and begin cultivating the vital partnership between parent and teacher. During middle school Parent Night, MaryAnn and Tiffany led families in an exercise where they chose words from our mission and philosophy and shared ones that resonated with them.
Parents talked about the words they were drawn to and the ones that drew them to Nantucket Lighthouse School. While the school’s mission and philosophy contain beautiful language about love, kindness, compassion, discovery and joy, as well as a child’s ethical and intellectual development, one parent noted that she felt a word was missing from the list. Having been part of the Lighthouse community for twelve years, she explained that one thing she always knew when her children came to school each day was that they were “safe.”
She explained that Nantucket Lighthouse School is a place where her children are physically safe, but it is also a place where their “souls” are safe and who they are as individuals will always be honored, preserved and protected. This unexpected moment gave me pause and offered a wonderful opportunity to reflect and be truly grateful for the magic that happens in our classrooms each and every day. In this season of giving thanks, I am grateful for the Lighthouse faculty and staff for their thoughtful, caring work, and I am grateful for our families for their partnership on this spectacular journey.
At this year’s first All School Meeting, a Primary student offered the following, “Dear Earth, thank you for this whole school, and thank you for friends.”
Board of Trustees
Mark Lucas, Chair
Kitty Pochman, Vice Chair
Neil Marttila, Treasurer
Joni Amaral, Faculty Representative
Lizbet Carroll Fuller, Emerita
Nantucket Lighthouse School | 1 Rugged Road Nantucket, MA 02554 | 508.228.0427
Board of Advisors
Susan O'Brien, Chair
D. Anne Atherton
Charity Grace Mofsen
Rachael Freeman Slosek
Each morning, Julia is the lucky recipient of eight enthusiastic handshakes and smiles. The first few weeks of school are often an adjustment period when students become familiar with their new surroundings. This is especially true for our Small Schoolers, as many of them are in a school setting for the first time.
During the first month and a half of school, much time is devoted to creating a warm, inclusive, and playful learning environment. Already, children have embraced new friends, activities, and routines. In just a short amount of time, our youngest students seem at ease with the rhythm of their day. They proudly recite the Morning Poem and sing songs at Circle. They eagerly anticipate Book Buddies on Mondays, Field Trips on Tuesdays, Horticulture on Wednesdays, Music and Baking on Thursdays, and Tea Parties and All-School Meetings on Fridays.
On the first day of school, the children were greeted by the tiniest of caterpillars munching on milkweed in a mason jar. Their classroom caterpillar inspired a recent study of butterflies, which incorporated science, mathematics, language, art, and even influenced play. Whenever possible, we integrate our curricula for a richer learning experience. In their introductory Circle, students read Eric Carle’s The Hungry Caterpillar before recreating the metamorphosis through several art projects.
After the butterfly hatched and was released the following day, the children donned colorful silk wings and danced around the schoolyard to mimic her flight. When the students gathered at Circle that day, the kids passionately expressed their astonishment about the caterpillar’s metamorphosis. They were reminded that they too are growing and changing in some remarkable ways. We consider ourselves truly lucky to get to witness their growth every day!
Julia Maury's Small Schoolers' First Two Months at NLS
In mathematics, the ongoing focus is to cultivate logical thinking and critical problem-solving skills. The class experiments with different mathematical concepts by playing games with partners, as well as by using strategies like drawing pictures, writing algorithms, or using manipulatives. Several strategies for solving problems are introduced and practiced, but ultimately individual students will gravitate toward the strategies that work best for him or her.
At our first fall Farmer's Market, students had the opportunity to practice real-life mental math and customer service skills by selling organic herbs they had grown in the school garden.
Third grade is a time when students typically transition from learning to read to reading to learn. As such, students in Joni's Upper Primary class have been working with more nonfiction text, identifying its unique structures and locating interesting or important information. Their reading of National Geographic Explorer and Time for Kids magazines taps into the eight-year-olds excitement for exploring the broader world, as well as their interest in talking about and exploring new ideas.
In order to build important literacy skills, such as fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension, students have been reading and discussing poetry, conducting reader’s theater, like 'The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything' by Linda Williams, and reading with their Book Buddies in Alana’s Small School class.
Students of this age also love descriptive language, word play, and new vocabulary. Reading autumn themed stories, such as 'And Then Comes Halloween' and poems, like 'Autumn is Here' have inspired them to write their own poems.
Joni's Upper Primary Classroom - Literacy and Mathematics
The Crow's Farm by Lochlan Sweeney
A fast, strong black crow
Loudly singing and gently hopping on a rooftop
Suspiciously looking to steal corn from a farm
A tall, creepy scarecrow frightens him away.
TAKE A LOOK INSIDE
Our middle school has been on the move - first to a new home at the Nantucket Boys and Girls Club and most recently, to Freedom, New Hampshire for our annual trip to Camp Cody. Always a highlight of the school year, this outdoor education program presents a wonderful bonding experience for students, teachers and Middle School families.
Everyone arrived at the ferry excited and optimistic given our early morning rainbow omen; students chatted on the boat and bus ride, anxiously asking: “Are we there yet?" "How much longer?!”
Though we arrived in rain, the staff and counselors at Camp Cody greeted us with warmth and sunshine. By the end of our three days together, they felt like family, caring for our students (and teachers!) like they had known us for years.
Some of our favorite moments were learning about lake ecology and the complex relationships in ecosystems, as well as challenging our communication skills and problem-solving strategies during a low-ropes course. We also played fun and educational games such as Bat and Moth (Marco Polo echolocation-style) and Rockety Rock Rock Rock, while resting on the side of a mountain at the peak of our hike. Other highlights included transition times between activities spent braiding hair, relaxing, and chatting in the cabins, and the amazing night hike, stargazing on the still lake, under a gorgeous moon, ending with a beautiful campfire sing-along and gratefulness sharing.
We supported each other with kindness and love and rounded out our trip with smiles and pizza.
Camp Cody Memories
by NLS Middle School Students
Camp Cody memories
Start in the morning
at the sunrise
over the lake.
A baby chipmunk
Was eating a nut,
The mountain views,
Helping each other,
sitting on the rock
looking at the stars.
Listening to the water ripple
and hearing the fire crack
at the same time.
Just being here
Camp Cody - Freedom, New Hampshire
Storytime in the Bamboo Forest
Team Building through Bridge Building in the State Forest
Delivering Tokens of Peace on 9/11
IN THE FIELD
Searching for Whale Bones in Madaket
Oh the Places You'll Go...on a Lighthouse Field Trip
Monarch Tagging with the Nantucket Land Council
Fort Adventures at Camp Richard
Printed on recycled paper.
1 Rugged Road
Nantucket, MA 02554
Nov 20 Small School Grandparents & Special Friends Day
Nov 29 Admissions Open House "Pre-School through 8th Grade"
Dec 8 18th Annual Yuletide Fair
Dec 14 Winter Celebration
Jan 17 Admissions Open House "Meet the Faculty"
Jan 30 Educational Speaker Series with Cindy Horgan
March 11 Educational Speaker Series with Debby Irving