In January, Amy Larsen and I traveled to Austin, Texas to attend a workshop on the power of gratitude in schools. The workshop was organized by the Center for Spiritual and Ethical Education. Presenter and Keynote Speaker, Giacomo Bono, author of Making Grateful Kids, shared his valuable research with conference attendees and worked with us to integrate gratitude and kindness into our classrooms.
Ellis faculty and staff are committed to providing an inclusive approach to our curricula which recognizes and celebrates diversity throughout the school year. During the month of February, we focus on the achievements, contributions and central roles of African Americans, particularly in the history of the United States.
It is exciting to come together in the New Year as a strong and vibrant community of learners—students, teachers, and families alike. Just as our girls learn and grow in this dynamic and innovative academic environment, we are pleased to offer parent education programs that serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas and for strengthening our community.
Happy New Year! Despite the freezing temperatures, Middle School students returned from Winter Break with excitement, enthusiasm, and feeling empowered to tackle the term. January and February promise to be busy and exciting months. Students in STEAM and Humanities classes, electives, and clubs have been designing, creating, reading, writing, and editing for weeks in preparation for competitions.
The Ellis School Class of 2017 set an inspirational tone for spring after they rocketed into their college application season this winter; in our class of 30 soon-to-be graduates, well over two-thirds have made at least one Early Decision or Early Action application.
by Susan Freudenberg, Interim Head of the Lower School
Happy 2017! The New Year is all about making resolutions. I am going to eat healthy this year. I am going to work out more this year. I am going to try rock climbing this year. I am going to get organized this year. Whatever resolution you make, do you keep it? In the past, I have made and broken countless resolutions. At Ellis, we want to teach every student that setting resolutions and new goals is great, but it is also okay if you break a resolution or fall short of your goal.
The thousands of Ellis girls that I have known and loved, including each of our current students, have been a source of inspiration for me with lasting benefits. The greatest tribute that I could imagine is to reach a record percentage of parent giving in my final year at Ellis. If more than 75 percent of parents give to the Ellis Fund by December 31 (and that would be a record), we will unlock an additional $30,000 gift!
By Amy A. Yam, with edits from members of the class of 2017 and 2018
Mathematical inspiration in a pair of skinny jeans. Yes, you read that correctly, and believe me, nobody is more surprised than I am by my shopping trip turned personal epiphany last weekend. I did something that almost everyone does while looking for a new pair of jeans. I reached into the middle-ish of a rack to pull out a size 6/8/10 so I could make my way to the dressing room. The jeans I retrieved were labeled as a size 0 so I moved to return them to their rightful place on the rack—far left—only to find that I had entered a universe where the smallest size was no longer 0. It was 000. Triple zero! Every mathematical alarm bell in my head rang loud and clear.
Beginnings and endings. Peruse any greeting card section and one is left with the directive to memorialize beginnings and endings: births and deaths, new jobs and retirements, first days and graduations. And it’s not just greeting cards. Listen to any biographical introduction, news story, or chronicle and you will find that the origin and resolution get the most airtime. Often, the middle of the narrative is truncated or, even worse, sanitized to the point where the heart of the journey—the stuff of grit, identity, tenacity and frustrated inspiration—is omitted. The result of such editing is a one-dimensional rendition of a course that was originally circuitous and ill trod. How unfortunate, for it is in the middle, between concept and final delivery, where a story unfolds, crossroads considered, and milestones met. It is in the middle that a story becomes calloused with the wear of living and laying the brickwork for an end to begin unfurling.