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The Pringle Survived! Design Education Teaches Students to Create Change

By: Dr. Nell Daniel
Middle and Upper School Visual Arts Teacher

Design education in K-12 schools helps students shift from a consumer to a producer mindset by using the design process to solve cross-disciplinary problems.

As part of their Design class, 11th and 12th graders were challenged to use limited materials to build a package which could hold one Pringle potato chip that was then mailed from Manhattan to the school. Halima Johnson from the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum was one of the visiting critics on the project. We are thrilled to report that the chips mailed by Sara Tobias ’18 and Phil Bernstein ’18 arrived intact!
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Building Tolerance on a Global Level

By: Carolyn Sloan
Lower School Music Teacher

A few weeks ago, I traveled to Zug, Switzerland to share my music with the the Ship of Tolerance project, an art installation designed by international artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov. The project is intended to promote peace, tolerance and hope among different people and nations around the world, specifically by educating youth from different continents, cultures and identities through the shared language of art.
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BC Alum and Parent Discuss Living & Teaching in Middle East

By: Lorne Swarthout
Upper School History Chair

Two surprise visitors dropped into our Modern Middle East class recently, adding some special insights to the semester’s final unit of study on Iraq and Iran. These visitors are examples of the tremendous expertise and the volunteer spirit of so many members of the BC community. They deepen our understanding and broaden our horizons. Continue reading…

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US Director Jane Moore Bids Farewell to the Class of 2016

By: Jane Moore
Upper School Director

The Class of 2016 graduated Berkeley Carroll on Friday, June 3rd. Below are US Director Jane Moore’s remarks at the commencement to the class.

I’d like to talk a bit today about the world out there — that is, the world that is not Berkeley Carroll. A number of things I’ve read, heard, and experienced in the past few weeks have me thinking about how Berkeley Carroll has prepared you — or not — for what you will find there, particularly in our American world.

As some of you know, last weekend I went to Disney World for the first time. I never wanted to go to Disney as a child (or as an adult), but I decided to take my niece for her 8th birthday, just the two of us. It was a wonderful and special trip, but also jarring in some ways. Every person who worked there called my niece “princess.” Happy Birthday, princess, Have fun, princess. The first time it happened, she whispered to me, “Why did that man call me princess?” The second time, she looked at me and laughed. The third time, she looked down, and wouldn’t smile. The last night when the bus driver said, “Good night, princess,” she stomped off the bus saying, “Superhero, cowboy, anything but this!”

Are you prepared for this world? — not just Disney World, but a world that doesn’t think of gender as a construct, a world that assumes that a girl with a ponytail, shorts, and a Star Wars t-shirt identifies as, or dreams of being, a princess? Continue reading…

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Reflections on the Class of 2016

By: JP Jacquet
Twelfth Grade Class Dean

Below are excerpts from Dean Jacquet’s speech at the 2016 Senior Class Dinner.

Class of 2016, how should you be described? In previous years I’ve started these remarks by citing the number of Lifers (11 for your grade) to highlight the BC roots and connections of your class. For this year’s graduates, though, I thought it would be fun to acknowledge that you even have members who attended the since-closed BC Learning Center. Regardless of when you arrived you have gelled well as a class. As I asked faculty, staff, parents and other members of the BC community about the class of 2016, people used different words to describe some common themes. First, your class really likes each other. Your grade has many, and often overlapping “fro-mances,” which is my gender neutral term for what people typically call bromances. Two quick things: yes, I just invented that word and no I don’t think it will capture any traction after tonight.

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Upper School Hosts 2nd Annual BC Talks

This week, Berkeley Carroll Upper School students participated in their second year of BC Talks (formerly called Diversity Day). This year’s theme was privilege. Students participated in discussion groups, learned and shared their personal experiences with privilege. Below is Upper School Director Jane Moore’s opening statement for the day. 

Good Morning and thanks for being here for the second annual BC Talks. For those of you who haven’t been here very long, a bit of history: Before there was BC Talks, for a number of years there was “Diversity Day.” Last year we decided that that title was problematic title for a few reasons, one that it was vague, and one that it implied that a day of “celebrating” diversity was somehow sufficient. We hope that “BC Talks” comes across differently — as a day to focus our thinking and talking around a particular subject.

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Student Reflections on Costa Rica Service Project

By: 7th and 8th Grade Students

Eighteen 7th and 8th grade students spent a week volunteering in Costa Rica. During the trip, they wrote reflections on their experiences in the trip’s blog. Here are a collection of quotes from their reflections:

We learned how there is a tree that had three hundred different species of symbiotic plants growing on it (crazy but incredibly cool)! After our minds were full of new knowledge and information, we set back to clean our rooms and prepare for our next adventure.” – Floria A. ’20

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Berkeley Carroll Students Help School in Costa Rica

By: Kimberly Carmody
Middle School Visual Arts

BC students just completed their third year of volunteer work for a local school in the Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat in Costa Rica and change in the infrastructure is super visible & inspiring! This year, the 7th and 8th graders raised $8,000 to support these projects in partnership with other World Leadership School groups and local fundraising efforts:

1.) Auditorium
Last year students painted the tall metal beams used to hold the roof up with rustproof paint and moved rocks and small boulders to clear space for the floor of the auditorium, which is now poured concrete. This year the roof is up and the structure is complete. The huge space provides a location for performances, large group meetings, basketball and other games, and it’s a refuge from the rain!

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Berkeley Carroll Honors Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Over the past week Berkeley Carroll celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr., other civil rights activists, and changemakers in all three levels of the school. During a joint Middle School and Upper School assembly, Madison B. (’16), Michael M. (’21), Sophie W. (’16), Henry S. (’21), Devin H. (’16), Briana J. (’20), Tai D.-M. (’20), Garrett C. (’16), and Aaron G. (’16) all presented short biographies of activists from both the past and present. Keynote speaker and former Poet Laureate of Philadelphia Sonia Sanchez shared a collection of poems celebrating and remembering civil rights activists throughout history. The choir and dance team ended the assembly with a joint performance of the song “Glory,” written by John Legend for the movie Selma.

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Vital Words – January 4th, 2016

Dear Friends,

My wife and I started our winter break this year by attending a very different concert, “Goldberg” an interpretation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, presented by the performance artist Marina Abramovic and pianist Igor Levit and billed as a “blend of classical music and performance art.”

Upon arriving, concertgoers were instructed to place all electronic devices in lockers. The audience then entered the hall, given noise-cancelling headphones, and instructed to sit in silence. The waiting period lasted for thirty minutes, then a gong sounded, headphones came off, and the concert began. Why the wait? As Marina Abramovic writes about her method, “it is designed to increase attentiveness and encourage a sense of being present.”

Taking the lead from the Abramovic Method it is appealing with the start of the new year to pause, reflect, and think about the work we do at Berkeley Carroll. What is it that we do best at Berkeley Carroll?
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