Archive: On the Journey 2014-15
News and views from Aspen Country Day School
Summer assignments posted
May 25, 2015: Prevent the dreaded "summer melt!" It's important for children to keep their academic skills fresh -- especially after all the hard work of the year just past. Teachers have prepared reading lists, links to math games, and much more. Click here for grade-by-grade academic refreshment
About next year on campus
May 18, 2015: We've had lots of information sessions and chats about next year's campus construction. Here are some details, with more coming soon. Read more
May 11, 2015: There are four eggs in the nest on the little island. Josephina (named by the Second Graders) is taking her nesting seriously. Everyone is excited to see the baby goslings! Read more
Blue Green Night: our spring benefit a success
May, 2015: The children have their Blue Green Days, so why shouldn't parents have their own fun traditions? By any measure, the first annual Blue Green Night was a big hit. This focus of this year's auction was on building community. It was a wonderful night all around. Read more
About a core ACDS value: perseverance
April 20, 2015: Spring Outdoor Education trips deal with a few weather challenges, especially when Mother Nature is throwing late snowstorms in the path of our First Graders at Colorado National Monument. It's a perfect way to practice perseverance, one of the five core values that underlie our philosophy at ACDS. As a First Grader wrote in his Outdoor Ed journal on the recent trip, "I am proud of the hikes that I did." See some photos and read more
Word of the Week: community
April 27, 2015: Imagine this: in just one week, our All-School Play, Grandparents & Special Friends Day, and Blue Green Night (the spring benefit). Read all about it.
How to be an ambassador
April 6, 2015: Weekly newsletter for parents focuses on spreading the word about Country Day in the community of Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley. Read more
Teacher news: Miss Annie heads to Dubai
March 30, 2015: From here, anywhere: that's true not only for our gradutes, but also for teachers moving on to new challenges. Annie Garrett, beloved English teacher (and also our longtime All-School Play choreographer) will be teaching at the Universal American School of Dubai, UAE starting in August 2015. Read her note to students and parents and more weekly news here.
Kids are watching us watching our phones
March 9, 2015: Check out a great couple of resources for parents navigating the ever-changing world of social media with their kids: "Our Kids are Watching" and "Social media sites for kids who are over Facebook."
Our favorite superheroes: parent volunteers
March 2, 2015: The PIE Parent Association (it stands for Partners in Education) comes to the rescue whenever teachers and students need a special project, a helping hand in the lunchroom, or a spectacular upggrade for our spring benefit or end-of-year picnic. We are so grateful. Read all about it here.
Teachers try new peer coaching exercises
February 23, 2015: ACDS was well represented at the National Association of Independent Schools conference in Boston this year. We gain many terrific resources by being a "proud member of NAIS." But professional development isn't always about going to an out-of-town conference or seminar. Teachers right here on campus have created their own innovative peer coaching program. Read all about it.
Hands-on science learning in Lower School
February 9, 2015: Country Day has long been known for a powerful commitment to science in Lower School. Building a strong foundation in earth, life, and physical science in the younger years pays dividends throughout the academic journey. In an era when many schools are focusing on reading and math -- sometimes to the detriment of other subjects -- our science curriculum is enriching and engaging for all. Watch the video. Click for the weekly newsletter of Feb. 9.
Mastering the hut trip
February 2, 2015: After hut trips in Fourth and Fifth Grades, the Seventh Graders brought plenty of competence and experience to their midwinter expedition above treeline. Check out their exploits during four days of snow science, telemark skiing, routefinding, and backcountry cooking. Click here for the video. Click here for the weekly newsletter of Feb. 2.
New video premiere: MindUP
January 26, 2015: The MindUP program has been a valuable part of the program at ACDS for several years now. Here's an update about how we practice mindfulness in school, gaining benefits for students, teachers, and families alike. Click here for the weekly newsletter. Click here for the video.
Why are you in school on Martin Luther King Day?
January 19, 2015: The Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday is a day that we are in session at ACDS. Rather than staying home, skiing, or just taking the day off, we are engaging in thinking and doing -- taking the time to focus on specific ideas of the civil rights leader. Click here for tales from our day, including projects related to the MLK National Day of Service. Read more
Asking good questions: with alum Pete McBride
January 12, 2015: Alumnus Pete McBride returned to campus to give a version of his National Geographic Live talk to our lucky Middle School students in science class. The students asked some great questions. Click here for the story in the weekly @ the bridge newsletter. Click here for more alumni stories from our "Alumni Journeys: Aaardvarks in the World" series.
A sense of place and the magic of the ponds
January 5, 2015: welcome back to Narnia with the weekly parent newsletter. "The ponds give our school a sense of place -- for children, a grounding that nurtures the growing soul." read more, including some details on the history of the campus
Small Moments & Writing at ACDS
Fifth Grade Book Drive a big hit
December 10, 2014: It was all their idea... the Fifth Graders are a service-minded bunch. They wanted to support a good cause. So they decided to hold a book drive that was a huge success, raising more than $1000 for their chosen charity, Heifer International. Watch their adorable/entrepreneurial video promo here
Buddy Grades: how it works
December 8, 2014: from the @ the bridge weekly newsletter, a story about one of the most beloved ACDS traditions: Buddy Grades. "We actively show respect, whether in buddy grades, at lunch, in class, or simply holding the door for a friend. These little acts are the glue that holds our community together, and they show how a PreK through Eighth Grade school can foster children who bring goodness into the wider world." Read more
Aardvark artists win award for window contest
December 1, 2015: The women's World Cup ski races are a huge event in Aspen around Thanksgiving, and every year there's a window-decorating contest. It's actually pretty competitive! Guess who won? The painting elective at ACDS -- the students made a giant mural for the window of Performance Ski. Read more
Coffee + Conversation
November 17, 2014: A series of gatherings for parents with Head of School and Board President Scott Russell this year are "open agenda" sessions held at school and also at the Willits Starbucks and Town restaurant in Carbondale. Click for these and other announcements from the busy month of November
Consider the Core
November 10, 2014: ACDS is once again in the lead on a national issue in education: the Common Core. Assistant Head of School Andy Davies has an article in the most recent issue of Independent School magazine on the hot topic of the Common Core, and "Why Independent Schools Shouldn't Ignore the Common Core State Standards." Giving examples from right here on Castle Creek, she shows how schools like ours can weave the new standards into the personal approach to education we use so successfully. Click for the full article.
After-school programs taking off
November 3, 2014: from art to aeronautics, from cooking to boxing, there are plenty of ways to stay busy learning new things after the school day ends. With our new after-school program coordinators Alexandra Hughes and Christina Schluter hard at work, you will never be bored at ACDS! Click for updates
ACDS on the leading edge in testing "non-cognitive skills"
October 30, 2015: A story about how our school is helping the national organization SSATB (Secondary School Admissions Test Board) work out ways to "test" children for "non-cognitive" skills like kindness, empathy, perseverance. Click here for more.
Deep practice and the Lower School Shakespeare Festival
No nature-deficit disorder here
October 20, 2014: @ the bridge parent newsletter with a story about the autumn season of Outdoor Ed trips and author Richard Louv on how "The future will belong to the nature-smart... the more high-tech we become, the more nature we need."
Did you know: How ACDS grew from 53 to 208 students
October 18, 2014: More data for the number-crunchers among us: ACDS enrollment now stands at 208 students, an all-time high. The school opened on September 1, 1970, with a grand total of 53 students in K-12. Number of students in the first-ever graduating class? Three.
On the gift of education
October 13, 2014: @ the bridge parent newsletter with a blog psot about why -- aside from your love -- an excellent education is the most meaningful gift you can give your children.
First Boarding School Fair a huge success
Saturday, October 11, 2014: Can anyone say Hogwarts? Hundreds of future high school students and more than 45 representatives of the nation's top boarding schools gathered on campus for our first annual Boarding School Fair. With so many great options available to students who are motivated, prepared, and excited about high schools near and far, this was a wonderful way to explore the possibilities. Next year's fair is scheduled for Saturday, October 10, 2015.
Front page ink: ACDS in the Aspen Times
High school placement at Country Day has always been one of the strongest features of our school, but now the options for secondary school become even more clear with the advent of the ACDS Boarding School Fair. We sat down with an Aspen Times reporter to spread the news: story here
Grads: building the foundation for lives of meaning
September 29, 2014: @ the bridge weekly parent newsletter featuring two recent graduates' experiences as youth reporters at the Aspen Ideas Festival, plus a video of parents taking on the role of students at Middle School Parent Night.
Did you know: in/out of Aspen district stats
September 28, 2014: FACTOID OF THE WEEK
The real goal of school: becoming
September 22, 2014: @ the bridge weekly parent newsletter "On Becoming" inspired by this quote: "The real goal of education, and of school, is becoming - becoming a "good" person and becoming a more capable person than when you started."
Parents and PIE
September 15, 2014: @ the bridge weekly parent newsletter featuring the amazing efforts of our PIE (Partners in Education) parent association. Volunteers fanned out all across the Roaring Fork Valley to welcome each new family with a freshly baked (what else?) apple pie on their doorsteps.
It's all about the joy
September 8, 2014: @ the bridge weekly parent newsletter on back to school, joy, and an interview with teacher Annie Garrett about her summer workshop with poet Billy Collins