Congratulations to the following students for their outstanding performances on national language exams!
National Spanish Exam Results 2020
National Latin Exam Results 2020
Class of 2024
Joey Roth, National Latin Exam Silver
Ayush Patel, National Latin Exam Gold
Baylen Sim, National Latin Exam Silver
Class of 2023
Scott McAdams, National Latin Exam Gold
Noah Russell, National Latin Exam Silver
James Be, National Latin Exam Honorable Mention
Class of 2022
Sarah Griffith, National Latin Exam Gold; National Latin Translation Contest Certificate of
Commendation; National Mythology Exam Bronze
Justin Dynes, National Latin Exam Gold; National Latin Vocabulary Exam Silver; National
Mythology Exam Bronze
Arya Patel, National Latin Exam Silver; National Latin Vocabulary Exam Gold; National Mythology
Julian Romano, National Latin Exam Honorable Mention
Jack Williams, National Latin Vocabulary Exam Bronze
Class of 2021
Abhay Basireddy, National Latin Exam Gold; National Latin Vocabulary Exam Gold;
National Latin Translation Contest Book Award Winner
Robert Xing, National Latin Exam Gold; National Latin Vocabulary Exam Bronze;
National Mythology Exam Bronze
Madison Bell, National Latin Exam, Honorable Mention
At Episcopal, we often talk about the benefits of hands-on learning and how these experiences spark a students’ interest and encourage deep learning. A recent visit to the QUEST Center in Foster Hall showcased a wide array of these creative opportunities which are being offered by Episcopal faculty. While many of the lessons have been taught before, this new space is providing the opportunity to expand or even create new and exciting ways to learn. Students and teachers are enjoying every minute of it!
PreK Garden Fixer Upper
Recently, fifth graders got their hands dirty by weeding, painting and sprucing up the PreK-4 garden. QUEST Center coordinator Dr. Elizabeth Lewis and the fifth grade teachers worked with the older students to re-imagine the space. Students drew up proposals and the class worked together to implement their ideas. The result was a space to inspire any 4-year-old, complete with a bird sanctuary, construction zone, prehistoric place, milkweed monitoring, mudpie kitchen and herb and vegetable patches.
After several weeks of hard work and planning, the fifth graders were excited to reveal what they had accomplished, and the PreK students were eager to explore. “Do y’all like it?” asked the fifth graders. “We love it!” shouted the younger Knights jumping up and down. The brightly colored learning environment is just outside the PreK-4 classroom, and it is sure to be the site of countless discoveries this year.
Middle School Monster Mash
In English class, students often read text and write a response. In Martha Guarisco’s sixth grade class, there is so much more to explore. In celebration of fall festivities and an upcoming lesson on Greek mythology, Guarisco introduced a mythical monsters lesson. The lesson began with students using Google Expedition to view ancient creatures including a centaur, Pegasus, Medusa, a phoenix and nymphs. Using inspiration from what they saw, students then had to imagine their own creature and the traits that it might possess. To make the lesson a truly hands-on experience, Guarisco challenged students to mash their creatures with those imagined by their classmates.
This merging of mashed monsters took place in the QUEST Center. Using pool noodles, feathers, duct tape and more, students made creatures such as the “lioermis” created by Hollis, Lilianna and Zoey or the phoenix created by Patrick, Cohen, Pierce and Jace. While using the tools in the Middle School Design Studio was fun, the students were also retaining what they learned. Members of the “lioermis” group were able to describe an ancient phoenix and its rebirth from the ashes. The phoenix group designed a creature, similar to many mythical monsters, that could shape shift from human to bird.
As the sixth graders work on their creatures, they can’t help but see the activity taking place elsewhere in the facility. Guarisco recently overheard students expressing interest in the eighth graders’ Rube Goldberg project. “This is building excitement because it’s a shared space,” she says of the creative work taking place all around.
The Science of a Rube Goldberg Machine
There’s no better way to learn about simple machines than to build one. Episcopal eighth graders are creating Rube Goldberg Machines as part of a lesson on the engineering design method. Science teacher Shyamala Alapati challenged pairs of students to create a machine using four simple machines and 10 events. Students began the process by brainstorming and drawing out ideas on paper. After that, they had a class period to explore materials ranging from blocks and pipes to cardboard and popsicle sticks. In no time, students were using pulleys, levers, wedges and inclined planes to accomplish simple feats. Through the trial and error that is common in science, students are revising their plans as they go along. Once complete, the machines will be combined into one large Rube Goldberg Machine that will be revealed at the QUEST Center open house on Sunday, November 15th at 3:30 pm.
It is exciting when lessons read in a book come to life. Whether it’s the latest technology, recycled materials or simply the space to support a big imagination, the QUEST Center is allowing teachers to do what they do best – inspire the next generation of thinkers and leaders.
Open House - Sunday, November 15th at 3:30 pm
Episcopal families are invited to the QUEST Center Open House on Sunday, November 15 at 3:30 PM. Please click here to RSVP by November 11th and choose an available time slot to tour the new space. QUEST Center Coordinator Dr. Elizabeth Lewis and our faculty have planned an afternoon filled with interactive experiments and a showcase of the wonderful projects for students and families to enjoy.
Did you know that ice cream can teach you a lot about thermodynamics?
Episcopal eighth graders participated in a tasty science lesson recently in the Chemistry Kitchen in the new QUEST Center in Foster Hall. Students used chocolate milk, ice and salt to make their own ice cream inside of a plastic bag. Science teacher Shymala Alapati uses the lesson to demonstrate the thermal energy transfer and how the drop in temperature of the milk mixture ultimately creates a solid form. “Students truly enjoyed the experience of working in the lab in the Quest Center,” she says. “It is always remarkable when we can have a super-fun lab and learn the maximum from the lab. It’s a double bonus day!”
That double bonus day occurred in the fully stocked Chemistry Kitchen. Since students have started using the new space there has been tremendous activity, ranging from second graders learning about the circulatory system to French students making crepes. Alapati says access to the kitchen made things much easier for her class. “Students were able to socially distance and still be together,” she says. “The amazing amount of space with all of the facilities – such as the refrigerators, the sinks and a place to keep everything in all one location assisted greatly.” She says in the past the ice cream lab has required her to coordinate supplies from multiple areas, making it much more difficult. “With all of the facilities easily accessible, it made it much easier to focus on what we were to learn from this lab.”
Learning at Episcopal is fun and tasty. (For future reference – the next time you’re caught with that extra bowl of ice cream, just say you’re learning more about the principles of thermodynamics!)
Episcopal students are learning, growing and enjoying their time on campus. As everyone acclimates to the 2020 routine, a new sense of joy and tradition is blooming. Enjoy these moments from around campus.
Going on a Fossil Hunt
Sixth graders recently used the latest technology to delve deeper into the secrets of the past. Students used Google Expeditions AR to look at fossils that were used as evidence to support the theory of Continental Drift.
Wellness Wednesday Finals
“Let’s have some fun!” Division Head Mark Engstrom welcomed Middle School students to the VPAC for the Wellness Wednesday Fall Fest Finals this week. The event was the culmination of several Wednesdays of mental, physical and logic challenges conducted recently during advisory. For the finals, students had to find the differences between images, jump rope for 30 seconds or solve a riddle. The winners received candy to celebrate their success. The best part was being together for a moment of fun!
In addition, students had an opportunity to dress in their favorite fall outfits and enjoy treats from City Gelato to celebrate the upcoming fall break.
Outdoor Adventures in First Grade
Nothing says joy quite like flying a kite on a beautiful October day! First graders enjoyed time outdoors recently on the Coach Dupe trail.
QUEST Center in Foster Hall is buzzing with activity even as the finishing touches are being made and furniture is being moved inside. The purpose of this brightly colored new space is to provide students room to explore, experiment and maybe even get their hands dirty. Recently, sixth graders studying ancient civilizations used the Center’s Design Studio space to create primitive tools such as bows and arrows, spear throwers and bow drills. There was a “Swiss Family Robinson” vibe as students chopped, cut and twisted sticks, stones and leaves collected from the Coach Dupe Trail. As students weaved together leaf strands, they expressed excitement for the project.
“It makes it feel like you accomplished something.”
“I like that it’s made from scratch.”
“We are way into it.”
Each year, Middle School teacher Virginia Day transports students back in time with hands-on experiences during the primitive technology project-based unit. She has dressed like Indiana Jones, created makeshift caves and even challenged students to throw a primitive spear. This year, students began the lesson by learning how ancient tools were created and the purpose they served. Special guests from the Episcopal Writing Center were brought in to help with the research process. “The Writing Fellows were able to practice their coaching and mentoring skills as they helped the sixth graders interpret research questions and discern the most important information,” says Writing Center Director Katie Sutcliffe. “Especially this year, I think it’s important to jump into opportunities that come up that allow students to interact and practice skills in unique and authentic ways.”
As the newest learning space on campus, the QUEST Center proved to be an ideal setting for students to dig deeper into the past. Just as the Academic Commons provides space for the needs of Upper School students, the QUEST Center provides adaptable, flexible spaces for Lower and Middle School students. The Center houses an assortment of learning resources including microscopes, digital data collection tools, a fully functioning kitchen and virtual, augmented and mixed-reality technology. There is also ample space to store in-progress projects, such as the sixth graders’ primitive tools, without the risk of them being disturbed or moved. One of the best things about the new Center is the freedom it offers teachers to create a hands-on lesson that cannot be offered within the confines of a more traditional setting. “Imagine doing this in my classroom,” says Day as students saw pieces of wood around her.
QUEST Center Director Dr. Elizabeth Lewis is supportive of teachers and welcoming of students as they arrive wide-eyed into the creative space. “I am here to brainstorm, provide set up and clean up to support our teachers as they expand lessons and learning activities for our students,” she says. Even though Dr. Lewis is still finalizing the details that will make this space complete, she is happy to have students enjoy this new learning environment which already feels like a combination of a children’s museum and a school. The sixth grade project is especially exciting. “This is the first project that utilizes all parts of the building,” she says.
Once students complete the primitive tools, they will spend time in the QUEST Center’s Production Studio, where they will use the green screen to record themselves explaining their creations. Later, they will spend a class period using the Center’s audio/visual editing equipment in the Digital Media Lab to perfect their presentations for final submission. In a way that truly exemplifies what Episcopal project-based learning is like, Day says the lesson will be finished when they’re finished. Ultimately, the goal is for students to think critically, process the information and enjoy an experience that engages and inspires learning.
The new QUEST Center is sure to inspire young minds for generations to come. The space is designed to help students explore and connect with the world through hands-on experiences that make learning fun. If the sixth grade history lesson is any indication, that mission is already being accomplished.
For more information about the new QUEST Center in Foster Hall, please visit https://www.episcopalbr.org/quest.html.
College Shirt Day. Student Council Meetings. Sports. Student life is coming back to life at Episcopal now that the state has transitioned to Phase 3 of the reopening plan. Students have adapted quickly to the state health and safety mandates, and there is a real sense of excitement on campus as the traditional social-emotional activities return.
“We know that school is more than about what happens with academics,” says Middle School Division Head Mark Engstrom. “Children truly shine when they find the right sport, club, or activity that fits them. Rolling out our first set of clubs is another step toward fulfilling our Mission of developing the whole child.” Recently, Middle School announced the return of Peer Leaders, Student Council, Geography Bee, MATHCOUNTS and Student Vestry. Club meetings are being conducted in large meeting spaces following social distance guidelines.
Middle School Counselor Alicia Kelly facilitated the first Peer Leaders meeting in the Chapel. She says students were excited to participate in anything being offered after a long stretch without such activities. “I’m very excited for the return of Peer Leaders,” says Rylee Simoneaux. “My favorite thing about Peer Leaders is the great community and help we can give to others around our campus.” Simoneaux and Kelly look forward to the return of the Peer Leaders’ Random Acts of Kindness initiative in which students are recognized for being kind to others.
The return of the Student Council is another exciting development. Advisor Kristina St. George says that while big group events like dances are currently not an option, there are still things that students can plan. “The students elected to Student Council this year are very motivated to face the new challenges that social distancing has placed on us and are looking forward to coming up with fun and safe activities to make everyone’s Middle School experience a great one,” she says. This year’s Middle School Student Council members include seventh graders Maeve Dolan and Virginia Kirkpatrick and eighth graders Sophie Arnold, Ryder Bond, Elaine Bourgeois and Eloise Parker.
MATHCOUNTS advisor James Moroney says the return of extracurricular activities brings back a much needed sense of normalcy. “One of the parts that I love most about MATHCOUNTS is how it gives our students a chance to be part of a team competing for and representing their school,” he says. “These types of experiences are invaluable in creating the sense of community that makes Episcopal such a special place.” Moroney is using a combination of virtual and in-person meeting options to prepare this year’s team.
As the division counselor, Kelly is pleased that extracurricular activities are returning to campus. “We’re here to connect,” she says. “These activities help kids in wanting to come to school. It helps them engage and is important for their social-emotional health and well-being.” Kelly says providing these activities can also have a positive impact on a student’s academic performance. “Social connection has a lot to do with happiness,” she says. “Happy students want to learn.”
In addition to the return of clubs, Middle School faculty have organized Wellness Wednesday activities in advisory. Currently, students are competing to see who can perform best on a mental, physical and intellectual challenge with the overall winner to be announced before fall break. Students also participated in an activity where they discussed what they are grateful for in recognition of National Gratitude Day. Students expressed appreciation for family, teachers, a nice school and sports.
The return of softball, swimming, cross country and football has created a spark among the Episcopal Middle School community. “Clubs and sports provide students an opportunity to connect with and learn from each other in different ways,” says St. George. “I also think it’s important for students to be able to participate in something they have a sincere interest in – this can benefit mental health as well as make their school day just more fun.”
After only seven weeks on campus, we are making tremendous progress. The successful reintroduction of these first five Middle School clubs means that additional clubs can soon begin. School does look and feel different this year, but with a little creativity, teachers and students are finding ways to make the experience meaningful.
Learning, fun and growth are happening everyday in Middle School. Despite the unusual circumstances this school year presents, students are being challenged and celebrated. Middle School faculty are finding creative ways to continue offering meaningful lessons in everything from physical education and fine arts to core academic courses. Lessons are taking place in unconventional spaces, including outdoor tents and sports bleachers. However, the Middle School Knights are quickly adapting and thriving.
We invite you to take a glimpse into a Middle School week, by watching the video below.
We appreciate the positive attitudes of our Middle School students, and we thank our families for their trust in us. A special thank you to the faculty and staff who are making sure that great learning experiences continue.
To read more about Episcopal’s Middle School program, click here.
Episcopal sixth graders blasted into summer with a year-end project that was out of this world. Students studied the phases and surface characteristics of the moon. After learning more about our cosmic neighbor, they then learned what it takes to get there.
Science teacher Stacy Hill tapped into the latest technology to bring the Apollo missions to the students’ own living rooms. “Students used the Smithsonian Moonshot app to collect information about missions and to view the Saturn V in Augmented Reality,” says Hill. “They also used Augmented Reality to try to land a Lunar Lander on the moon to help them understand the need for the various parts of the lander.” Hill says students used items available right at home to build their creations. The resulting builds were an exciting addition to Distance Learning.
Episcopal Middle School students are not strangers to exciting, hands-on science experiences. Check out previous blog posts highlighting the engaging lessons provided by Middle School faculty. To learn more about the Episcopal Middle School experience, visit the division’s webpage here.
“Imagine: It is May 2026. You are now 17 – 18 years old and have just graduated from high school. Your parents have decided to help you learn how to live on your own, since you are about to go away to college. To do that, they are setting you free for the summer.”
This is how sixth grade math teacher Nancy Callaway introduced students to their latest math assignment. With thoughts of independence and striking out on their own, students were tasked with managing a budget. Callaway provided mock classified listings, car advertisements and cost of living estimates. Students then determined how to manage everything without going into debt.
“I have done this project before and feel that the students who have done this walked away with an appreciation of what their parents have to do on a day-to-day basis,” says Callaway. Sixth grader Alex Messina enthusiastically agrees. “It’s basically life,” she says. “You get to be an adult and it shows you how grateful you should be to be a kid. You really gain an appreciation for your mom and dad.”
The same was true as Alex and her roommates, Sadie Brien and Pahi Sthanki, selected an apartment. Alex says the sixth graders discussed price and square footage, which is something they may not have considered before. To round out their living expenses students also had to purchase groceries and essentials. Alex says this was her favorite part of the experience as she and her roommates got to make selections online together.
To support their lifestyles, the Middle School students had to select a job from Callaway’s classified listings. Options included jobs common among recent high school graduates. Alex chose to be a receptionist at a dental office, which paid $1,400 a month. The payment experience was yet another surprise for Alex as she learned more about taxes and deductions which left her with a little more than $1,100 a month. Ultimately, Alex was able to successfully manage her income and expenses with approximately $100 remaining in her bank account.
This sixth grade lesson on independence is a shining example of how Episcopal prepares students for life. It is the crossroads between academics and application. The best part is that students truly enjoy the experience and the lesson they will carry throughout their lives. “It’s very fun,” says Alex. “It’s a good way to learn what you have to do. You’re prepared.”
Transitioning to online learning can present some challenges for everyone. What will be critical early on is setting up a routine, and making adjustments as needed. Coordinate with peers and adults you trust to get ideas for what is working for them.
Strategies to consider:
Apps That Act Like Math and Science Tutors for Homework Help
Free Educational Apps, Games, and Websites
Top Time-Management Apps
As mentioned above, having a daily schedule will be extremely helpful. Remember, that your school day always includes recess/break, lunch, and often P. E. Here is a sample schedule below that can be a guide:
Our counseling team is here to support you during these times. Please email your division counselor, or Robin Talamo (LSS Coordinator) if we can be of assistance.
Robin Talamo, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, who has been practicing for over twenty years. She has served as the Episcopal Learning Support Services Coordinator since 2012. With the assistance of the other counselors, she guides the three divisions with support for students with various learning differences. She leads such groups as Parents U-Knighted, the OYES program, and other important campus support activities.