Curious about that new course? Wondering what Buckley students are learning, discussing, and excited about? We are thrilled to launch our new Buckley At Home: Fall Series! This time, we’ve asked faculty with exciting new or signature programs to give current and prospective families a peek into what our students experience as part of a Buckley education. RSVP to one or all – enjoy!
The Empathy and Uplift Project: Unlocking Sixth Grade Voices
Date/Time: Tuesday, October 13 at 4:00 p.m.
Description: English teachers Benj Hewitt and Clarissa Shinn discuss this year’s new sixth grade writing course, designed especially for this developmental age and this particular moment in which we are living. Learn more about how the class was created and how short, creative writing prompts help students access and hone their own voices during these historic times. Presenters: Benj Hewitt, Middle School English teacher (and Upper School newspaper and yearbook advisor), and Clarissa Shinn, Middle School English teacher
Stamped: A New Middle School Text
Date/Time: Monday, October 19 at 4:00 p.m. Description: This year, the social science department introduced Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You as a text in both seventh and eighth grades. What makes this book, co-authored by Jason Reynolds and Ibraim Kendi, a good framing for anti-racist educations and a great developmental fit for students this age? Seventh grade Global Studies teacher Chuck Neddermeyer and eighth grade history teacher Rebecca McMackin will discuss highlights from the book, offer context for how they teach it, and share what students think so far. Presenters: Rebecca McMackin, eighth grade history teacher, and Chuck Neddermeyer, seventh grade history teacher and assistant director of DEI
Iowa Writers’ Workshop and Buckley: A Unique Partnership
Date/Time: Tuesday, October 27 at 4:00 p.m. Description: Five years ago, English teacher Mitch Kohn forged a partnership between Buckley’s Upper School and the prestigious Nonfiction Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. Since then, a group of 20 students has traveled every March (except for this year, when the trip was cancelled at the last minute due to Covid concerns) for two days of workshops focusing on creative nonfiction. Graduate students in the program apply to be “Buckley Fellows” and develop unique curricula every year. Past workshops include "Journeys Home," "Painting with Words," and "Humor Writing." Buckley is the only high school in the country with this relationship to the workshop, so come hear more about this signature program and some of the work produced by Buckley's young authors. Presenter: Mitch Kohn, Upper School English teacher and Upper School writing students
Life Skills: Reimagining the Classic Seventh Grade Course
Date/Time: Thursday, October 29 at 4:00 p.m. Description: This year, Middle School student support specialist Carly Zarrow ’09 revamped Buckley’s Life Skills class, traditionally a rite of passage for all Buckley’s seventh graders. By integrating what she knows about Middle School students, she developed a discussion and activity-based course that covers everything from digital etiquette and responsibility to sex ed and body image. She and Buckley’s Mindfulness teacher Judith Sekler both teach the class this year, designed to equip teens and preteens with the important tools they need for engaging in kindness, respect, self-love, and yes, life. Presenters: Carly Zarrow ’09, Middle School student support specialist, and Judith Sekler, Middle/Upper School Mindfulness teacher
Read for Understanding: A New DEI Book List in Lower School
Date/Time: Thursday, November 5 at 4:00 p.m. Description: Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways through which children learn. Buckley has introduced dozens of new titles in Lower School, incorporating some into grade-level curriculum and others into the library’s circulation. Fifth grade teacher and Lower School DEI coordinator Sabine Abadou will showcase some of her favorite titles and explain how they are discussed with students and used to unpack larger cultural issues. Presenter: Sabine Abadou, fifth grade teacher and Lower School DEI coordinator
Passion Projects: No Grades, No Homework, No Limits!
Date/Time: Tuesday, November 10 at 4:00 p.m. Description: The Passion Projects program in Middle School asks students to use their own passions as sparks for exploration and discovery. Based on Google’s 20 Time program in which employees were given 20 percent of their time to work on something they loved, Passion Projects has proved time and again that when a personal interest is partnered with a mentor, deadlines, and purpose, there’s no limit to what someone can accomplish. Come hear how students have written novels, learned to fly an airplane, built a computer from scratch, and much more. Presenter: Irie De Lilly, Middle School English teacher and Passion Projects advisor, and Middle School Passion Project students