From the Desk of Tracey H. Ford
Dear Maryvale Families,
Despite my best intentions, I feel it already. A combination of tension, apprehension, and fatigue. I passed six cars with trees on top. The commercials are back and the one for WalMart … don't you ever grow up … makes me catch my breath. The emails announcing Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the Biggest Sale of the Year are incessant. And, already, my lists are growing. I now have a Pinterest in order to see my daughter's list. And the lights on my back deck, the only lights we sometimes have now, are on.
My husband mentioned that he was going to paint the hallway this week. Incredulously, I looked at him and said, "You can't. Christmas is two weeks away." His equally incredulous retort that "it is only December first" did nothing to alleviate my mounting anxiety.
Therefore, my message to you today is as much for me, as for you.
Jan L. Richardson, in “Night Visions: Searching the Shadows of Advent and Christmas” says it eloquently:
The season of Advent means there is something on the horizon the likes of which we have never seen before. What is possible is to not see it, to miss it, to turn just as it brushes past you. And you begin to grasp what it was you missed, like Moses in the cleft of the rock, watching God's back fade into the distance. So stay. Sit. Linger. Tarry. Ponder. Wait. Behold. Wonder. There will be time enough for running. For rushing. For worrying. For pushing. For now, stay. Wait. Something is on the horizon.
Sit. Linger. Tarry. Verbs not common in our lives that move at warp speed. There is no tarrying on Cyber Monday. Nor is there any wonder. That only comes when we wait, anticipate and embrace Advent. Christmas will be here soon enough. Whether or not my hallway is painted.
The Advent season at Maryvale is filled with wonder. Please consider joining us and your daughter for the Christmas Bazaar and Santa in the Castle on Saturday; the Christmas Concert on the evening of December 19; and Candy Cane Social on December 20. And if you have never seen the lights in the Castle, you owe it to yourself to say “yes” to the invitation from the Mothers’ Club for the Parents’ Christmas Social on Friday evening, December 13.
Wishing you an Advent season that is filled with the true spirit of the season.
Tracey H. Ford
Greetings as we mark the beginning of a new church year as we began the holy season of Advent. Part of our preparation as a school community is helping others in need. Under the direction of SoJuCo, advisory groups in Upper School will be assigned a family from the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Oncology Unit. They will be asked to provide gifts and food to these families for the holiday. This tradition is led by faculty member Laura Hanna, who lost a son to cancer many years ago. She continues to educate our community about the many needs of families struggling with a life-threatening illness. Middle School students will be collecting gifts for children at the Marian House.More
It is amazing to see the generosity of our students as these gifts are brought forward during our Candy Cane Social Prayer Service. Our students are living the true meaning of Christmas.
Holiday Homework and Exams/Tests
I have again asked the teachers not to assign any homework over the holidays so that everyone can enjoy time to be with family and friends. When we return from break, we will have two short weeks before midterm examinations begin. Upper School exams start on January 21 and Middle School students will be engaged in their Mini-mester.
It is a good idea for students to clean out their folders and organize their papers in preparation for exams. The exam/test schedule will be posted on Edline by January 1. Hopefully this will give students time to create a study schedule in order to review for exams.
Teachers regularly review study and test taking skills in individual classes, and, this year, during Advisory. Exams count as 20% of the student’s semester grade but individual exam grades do not appear on the transcript. As a college preparatory school, I must underscore the importance of studying and being prepared for exams. A good night’s sleep and healthy breakfast are a must during exam week. Often on exam days students are running around looking for calculators and/or batteries. Being prepared with pens, pencils, paper and calculators is also a help before the day of the exam. Although this sounds minor, being prepared and in the right frame of mind can help a student be more successful on exams/tests.
You may recently have heard about the tragedy of a young woman in Florida who took her own life as a result of cyberbullying on a website called Ask.fm. As you know, we do not tolerate or condone any kind of bullying at Maryvale, and we work each day to teach all of our students respect for one another. As our students navigate the internet on a daily basis, it is important for adults to be up-to-date on the latest trends on the internet. Ask.fm is the newest social media site that your daughters may be talking about and visiting. I have included two links with information that you will find helpful. One explains Ask.fm and the other describes the dangers of using this site. Hopefully this information will spur a conversation between you and your daughter and the importance of coming to adults with concerns if she feels bullied or threatened. If you have questions about what you see on your daughter’s iPad, please feel free to contact Mrs. Cohen, Ms. White, Mrs. Cunnane, Mrs. Belz or myself.
What is Ask.fm? http://www.webwise.ie/AskfmGuide.shtm
What parents should know about Ask.fm: http://www.chicagonow.com/tween-us/2013/10/facts-about-ask-fm-parents/
In the Middle... A Message from the Middle School
Dear Middle School Families,
I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with family, fun and many blessings!
The Advent Season at Maryvale is rich with tradition and opportunities for prayer and expressions of hope and wonder. Grandparents and special visitors filled us with gratitude and helped kick-off one of the best times of the year with Grandparents’ and Grandfriends’ Day!
Students are extremely busy with their studies, and we will provide assistance to make their strongest efforts in each academic area. Additionally, our girls involved in the performing arts and athletics have extra commitments as we move through our weeks before Christmas break. In order to best support the girls, please make note of the following:
- FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6: 12:35 p.m. dismissal
- SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7: Maryvale Christmas Bazaar
- SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14: High School Placement Test (HSPT) at Maryvale
- WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 19: 7:00-9:00 p.m.: Winter Concert
Note for band parents: Band has one extra rehearsal on Friday, December 13 during periods 9 and 10. Thank you and your girls for all of the amazing support!
- FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20: The Candy Cane Social marks the last day of school for 2013! The TEAM program has a very special show that day which you may attend if your schedule allows. Dismissal will take place at 11:30 a.m.
- THE WEEK OF JANUARY 13: Only the eighth grade takes mid-term exams, schedule forthcoming. Students will have ample opportunity to review material with their teachers. Sixth and seventh grade students will remain on regular schedules.
- FRIDAY, JANUARY 17: END OF SECOND QUARTER
- JANUARY 21, 22 and 23: Mini-mester classes take place from 8:30-11:30 a.m. each day. Students will bring home course selection booklets next week. Each student will take one class for the mini-mester. Please assist her in making her first, second and third choices, and we will make every effort to put her into a class she will enjoy!
- FRIDAY, JANUARY 24: Middle School Closed
Do not hesitate to contact your daughter’s advisor or me at any time, and bear in mind that Mrs. Grossman is available for extra study help and support. No Maryvale girl should feel alone or extremely stressed, as she is surrounded by a team of experts who care for her very much.
As we come to the close of 2013, my first year as Director of the Middle School, I must thank you for the support you give to your daughters and Maryvale; it is truly beyond compare, and clearly a major part of what makes Maryvale so special. Bear with us as our performing arts and athletics grow and flourish. Your daughters are here at a uniquely important time!
Peace, Wonder and Hope,
Amy N. Belz
Middle School Director
Driver's Education Program at Maryvale: Session Two
Location: Maryvale Preparatory School
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Registration: Click here
Driver’s Education Program offered at Maryvale Preparatory School provided by Mr. Wiggs of Roland Park Driving School. Sessions include 10 classroom sessions equaling 30 hours and six hours of drive time set-up individually (students need to be 15, no permit required). A total of 10 students needed to run each session. This program is open to Maryvale students as well as students outside of Maryvale. Preregistration required. No payments will be accepted at the door.
Session Dates: January 27-31, February 3-6, & 10 Time: 3:00 - 6:15 p.m.
The Shakespeare Field Trip
On November 25, the senior and sophomore classes enjoyed their field trip to Essex Community College to see “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)”. A madcap, hectic, farcical show, this production reduced the history plays to a football game in which the English crown was the football. The comedies were blended into one hilarious archetypal comedy. Othello was made into a rap song. Hamlet was staged with a whole lot of help from the audience. In short, this play was educational and entertaining.
Athletic Department News
Teams are practicing and games have begun, and you can feel the excitement throughout the school and on the fields!
Just a reminder as we begin our winter sports, please: let the athletes play; the coaches coach; the officials officiate; and the fans cheer encouragement.
With the arrival of December and wintry weather comes weather related concerns for winter sports. Please take note of the following policies and situations that may occur:
- If school is on a 1-hour or 2-hour delay, games and practice will be held as scheduled (conditions permitting for those sports that practice and play outdoors).
- If school is dismissed at noon or earlier than the regularly scheduled dismissal due to weather conditions, all practices and games will be canceled or postponed.
- If school is closed, all practices and games will be canceled or postponed.
All athletes should consult the bulletin board across from the game schedules each day to see if there are any changes. All changes will be posted as soon as they are determined. Updates will also be posted on the Athletic Center of the Maryvale website.
Please encourage your daughter to dress appropriately for athletic participation. Athletes should have or wear sweatpants, windpants or leggings, and a sweatshirt or fleece.
Congratulations to the following athletes who were nominated to the IAAM All-Stars this fall:
Varsity Soccer: Kalyn Crocetti and Kerry Leonard
Varsity Volleyball: Amber Franklin
Varsity Field Hockey: Elena McWright and Lauren Hudson
Varsity Cross Country: Colleen Cook, Kendall Gray, Victoria Sill and Callie Phillips
Music & Drama Notes
Our Winter Concert is Thursday, December 19 at 7 p.m. The Middle School Band, Middle School Choir, and Upper School Chorale will be performing. The Winter Concert is held in the Theater of McCarthy Hall.
The entire Middle School will be performing a Christmas production during Candy Cane Social on Friday, December 20 as part of their Technology Enhanced Art & Music (TEAM) curriculum, led by Mrs. Butcher, Mrs. Kozak, and Mr. Tilley. This production will be held in the Theater of McCarthy Hall!
A huge thanks to all of the parent volunteers who helped with the fall musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat". While every parent played an integral role, here are a few who went above and beyond...