Thursday, April 28th, 2016
News for Parents
General Information--April 29, 2016
Next Friday, May 6, is Grandparents Day! All grandparents should have received a letter invitation to attend Grandparents Day. Please check with your child’s grandparents to confirm they have in fact received an invitation. If they have not, and would like to attend, please contact Wendy Ward at email@example.com or 609–737–6121 before Wednesday, May 4, with their up-to-date contact information.
To review the schedule for the day or register online, please click here.
Information from the Health Center about norovirus: A few students have come to the Health Center with gastrointestinal symptoms consistent with norovirus. Director of Health Services Karen Rossi has provided some information about the virus and prevention here.
TPSPA seeks new board members: The Pennington School Parents Association (TPSPA) is seeking candidates interested in and capable of serving as Executive Board members. All terms are two years, and candidates for consideration must be in good financial standing with the School and have a child enrolled at the School for the entire length of their term.
The positions available are Co-President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Boarding Representative. If you would like more information regarding the responsibilities of any of the available positions or if you would like to be considered for one of them, please email firstname.lastname@example.org today!
Spots remain for Scholarship Golf Classic: Senior parents, this is your opportunity to get reserved seating up front for Commencement through the Headmaster Hawkey Sponsorship level. The Twenty-First Annual Scholarship Golf Classic will take place at the Bedens Brook Club on Monday, June 13, 2016. Proceeds from the Classic will benefit the Page and Otto Marx Challenge, supporting financial aid for local students. There are opportunities to sponsor, donate prizes, and volunteer. The prizes include Yankees Suite tickets, three-night stay in NYC, a Tesla experience, golf for four at some of the best clubs around, and more!! To register for this fun event, click here. You can see our current sponsors here. For more information, please contact Jane Childrey ’89 at email@example.com or 609–737–6144 or Rob McClellan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609–737–6126.
Parents Association wants volunteers for events: The Parents Association needs volunteers to help with several upcoming events. Contact Lori Washton at email@example.com if you are available to help:
- Grandparents Day—Friday, May 6. Five parent volunteers needed to help welcome and socialize with guests. To volunteer, email Rob McClellan.
- Promenade—Friday, May 27. Six underclassman parent volunteers needed to help plan the gathering prior to students’ boarding the buses to the Prom. Tasks involve decorating O’Hanlon Lawn and serving light refreshments.
- Senior Tent Decorating— Volunteers are needed to help decorate the Senior Tent on Friday, June 3, from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. All decorations are supplied by TPSPA; just bring your creativity! Click here to sign up.
- Exam Week Treats Volunteers—Week of June 7–10. Help serve treats to students following exams. The Parents Association provides the treats; we just need your help to serve them. Click here to sign up.
- Bake cookies for our faculty. At our annual Faculty and Staff Appreciation Luncheon on June 10, we will be having a cookie buffet. Each attendee will be invited to select an assortment of cookies to take home as a favor. Please volunteer to bake your best cookies as a thank you for all these special people do for our children. Details to follow. Click here to sign up.
- Scholarship Golf Classic—Monday, June 13. Ten parent volunteers needed to help the Junior Proctors as they work at this event. Duties include helping with greeting, staffing a small store, serving as an observer at a hole-in-one hole, and helping with the putting contest. To volunteer, email Rob McClellan.
Upper School--April 29, 2016
Special freshman program May 4: There is a special freshman speaker program presented by HiTOPS on Wednesday, May 4, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. entitled “Bridges to Respect: Homophobia Reduction Workshop.” Attendance at this program is mandatory for freshmen; it is a supplement to the health and wellness curriculum at Pennington. Students should report to the Wesley Forum in the Yen Building promptly at 6:30 p.m. Dinner will be available for all freshmen in the Dining Hall from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m.
HiTOPS (Health Interested Teens’ Own Program on Sexuality) is a nonprofit organization located in Princeton, NJ, whose mission is to promote adolescent health and well-being. Its goals include helping teens to understand their sexuality and clarify their values so that they can make responsible and healthy decisions. The organization accomplishes this, in part, by offering innovative, comprehensive sexual health education programs to most schools in the area.
For the past ten years, Pennington has supported these programs by inviting HiTOPS to address a number of important issues in both our middle and upper schools. This peer-led workshop will use age-appropriate skits and small group discussions to define and explore homosexuality and homophobia. Participants discuss the anger, confusion, and fear that is often associated with homosexuality and begin to explore ways to make their schools safe for all students. Please contact Director of Counseling Services Stephanie DeSouza with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609–737–6118.
Upper School Parents Coffee May 5: The Parents Association will hold an Upper School Parents Coffee on Thursday, May 5, at 8:15 a.m. in the Art Schalick Conference Room in the Campus Center. We will hold a roundtable discussion on ways to retain and maintain parent engagement with the School through programs for parents.
Juniors' senior photos May 9-12: Parents of the Class of 2017, please remind your juniors that Spencer Studios will be on campus May 9–12 to take casual and formal senior portraits for the Class of 2017. All juniors must have photos taken, and appointments are required; students should make appointments with Mrs. Iorio. Casual portraits will be taken outside, and formals will be taken on the gym stage. A cap and gown will be provided for formal portraits if desired; males are encouraged to wear a jacket and a tie. Proofs will be mailed to your home over the summer, and there will be an opportunity for retakes in early fall if needed.
Information about 2016–17 required forms: Click here to read an important letter from Dean of Students Chad Bridges regarding required forms for the academic year 2016–17. Be sure to click on every link within your category (such as Upper School Day Students) to download and complete required forms. Forms are due July 1, 2016.
Summer Public Speaking class filling fast: Because of some shifting of students between weeks, the Public Speaking class, which students can take for credit on campus this summer, is now full for the week of June 27, and the class for the week of July 11 now has two places available. Click here to register. Email Director of Summer Programs Jeff Eckerson at email@example.com with questions.
Summer class on personal essay offered: Pennington will offer two sections of “The Art of the Personal Essay” this summer (weeks of August 1 and August 8). This is not a for-credit class, but it can help students get a head start on essays required for college applications. The class is a student-centered seminar on how to apply the art of writing personal essays to the college-essay-writing process and will be led by Pennington Dean of Faculty John Daves. Click here to register. Email Director of Summer Programs Jeff Eckerson at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Middle School--April 29, 2016
Information for rising ninth-graders' families: Dean of Students Chad Bridges provides some helpful information for the families of current Pennington eighth-graders who will be entering the Upper School in the fall. Please click here to read it.
Information for rising seventh- and eighth-graders' families: Head of Middle School Todd Paige has helpful information for the families of current sixth-and seventh-graders. Please click here to read it.
Quarter 3 report cards now online
Student report cards for Quarter 3 are now available in NetClassroom for parents to view and print.
Wisnia to speak at Yom HaShoah Chapel
The Pennington Jewish Community has announced that the School will welcome Cantor David Wisnia to the campus on Tuesday, May 3, as the speaker at the special Chapel recognizing Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Chapel will be held in Sparks Gymnasium, and all members of the School community are invited. Wisnia, a Holocaust survivor, will be available afterwards to talk more informally with those attending.
Cantor Wisnia’s story is a remarkable story of survival and courage, recently published in his book, One Voice, Two Lives, available through www.comteqpublishing.com. He will tell part of that story on May 3, including his historic rescue by the 101st Airborne Division. He spent almost three years in the Auschwitz concentration camp; it was his fine singing voice, which entertained the guards, that saved him from the fate of so many others.
Wisnia is cantor emeritus at Har Sinai Temple, originally in Trenton but now in Pennington. The PJC looks forward to introducing Cantor Wisnia to all members of the School community.
Spring Concert 2016
The annual Spring Concert was held on April 24 in Sparks Gymnasium, and new panels and shells around the performers provided excellent acoustics.
Thanks to an anonymous donor, the School was able to install new acoustic panels on the walls and shells around the performers. Audience members reported that the acoustics in the gym were "fantastic." It was said to be a huge improvement, which allowed performers to be heard without microphones.
The night began with performances by the Middle School Instrumental Ensemble and Middle School Singers, including a traditional Irish song, "Mairi's Wedding," featuring sixth-grader Miami Celentana's Irish dancing. The Orchestra played selections from composers ranging from Richard Strauss to John Williams, The Pennington Singers, the audition vocal ensemble, included "Build Me Up Buttercup" among their songs, and the Jazz Band went on to "Take the 'A' Train," as part of its set. The Upper School Chorus wrapped up the evening with Billy Joel's "And So It Goes," and other songs.
Thanks were given to the Music Technology Club, which set up and ran the sound.
Five honored at Shakesperience Festival
Upper School students who participated in the Spring Break art and drama trip to London attended the tenth annual Shakesperience Festival at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey on the Drew University campus on Monday, April 25, and five were awarded prizes. The cast and crew for the trip’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream performed and competed with a thirty-minute cut of the play. The group of twenty-four comprised nineteen actors, two costume/makeup crew members, and three technical crew members. The production was praised by all attendees and adjudicators for its staging and visual cohesion. Of the five students honored, four—Madison Coyle ’16, Isabella Iorio ’17, Liam Krivcov ’17, and Josie Sheeran ’17— were awarded acting prizes; Noah Frank ’18 was awarded a prize for sound design.
Pennington hosts Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus
The Pennington School hosted the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus for two performances on April 26 and 27, days after the chorus performed at Carnegie Hall.
Performing for both the Middle School and Upper School, the Touring Chorus sang multiple songs, ranging from classical to western tunes. They also showed off some unique skills involving rope tricks and lifts while they sang, sparking a standing ovation in the new Wesley Forum in the Kenneth Kai Tai Yen Humanities Building.
According to its website, the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus is dedicated to providing an enriched educational experience through the study and performance of choral music.
The next stop for the Chorus, before heading back west, is Temple University's Performing Arts Center in Philadelphia on April 28.