Posts in Speyer News
Fifth and Sixth Grade Embark on A "Wonder-full" Assignment

Your mission is to wonder.

The fifth and sixth grade Science Summer assignment started with those five words. Middle School Science teacher Kimberly Schwab set forth this challenge to her students over the summer break, encouraging them to wonder about what they encounter in the natural world, leaving what to wonder about and how to document their wonderings up to the students.  Read on to discover what they wondered about and how they shared them!

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Eighth Grade Assignment: Translating Jefferson's Declaration!

How do we know what Thomas Jefferson meant in his famous 1776 "Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen united States of America" and what do we think George III and Parliament thought about it? Just ask a Speyer eighth grade writing student! The eighth graders and their writing teacher, Head of School Dr. Tischler, spent some time deciphering Jefferson's complicated grammar (Which truths are self-evident anyway?) and discussing this important piece of writing. Dr. Tischler then challenged the students to write their own versions of this revolutionary document. 

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Fifth Grade Heads to Alley Pond Park!

Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby. — Langston Hughes

Speyer’s fifth graders took Langston Hughes’ words to heart when they spent the day at Alley Pond Park. As part of their first days as Middle Schoolers, the fifth grade trekked to the park, which is home to New York City's first public high ropes adventure course (the largest in the Northeast), to have a fun-filled bonding day despite the weather!

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A Week of Welcomes: Back to School Chats and Meet-and-Greets!

The Dining Hall was host to not one, not two, but three parent gatherings this week, all in the efforts to welcome parents back to school – and to welcome our new head of Lower School! First up was Head of School Dr. Barbara Tischler with her annual “Back-to-School Chat” on Tuesday morning, and on Thursday, Speyer parents had two opportunities to “meet and greet” the new Head of Lower School Ms. Shiva Behradnia.

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An Emu and Oscar Wilde Take Center Stage the First Lower School Assembly

 “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”

That quote from Oscar Wilde was the theme of the first Lower School Assembly, and it’s the important message Speyer’s new Head of Lower School Ms. Behradnia wanted to share with our students to kick off the school year. Ms. Behradnia and the Lower School faculty used the picture book Edward the Emu by Sheena Knowles to illuminate this message, as the book’s central theme is being proud of who you are. At the end of the book, Edward the Emu discovers that “being an Emu may be the best thing after all," and, at Speyer, we want our students to look forward to coming to school knowing that “being themselves is the best thing after all.”

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Middle School Holds The Second Annual Academic Bootcamp!

Hoo-ah! Speyer’s Middle School took a break from its usual Friday schedule and held the Second Annual Academic Bootcamp. Though it may sound intense, you know that, here at Speyer, we welcome a few challenges…but always mix in a bit of fun! This day-long “bootcamp” allowed our Middle Schoolers to become oriented with the various technology tools they will use over the course of the year, discuss key executive functioning skills, and foster a sense of community across all grades.

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Speyer Students Win Hudson Data Jam Middle School Level 2 Vision Project

Whether tuning into CNN or the local NYC stations, we are all following the news of Hurricane Florence, sending thoughts to those affected by this massive storm. Watching the footage, many of us are thinking about Superstorm Sandy, which affected our area six years ago, and the reports of this latest hurricane are all the more vivid for Speyer students Jonathan M., Sasha G., and Chris O. Last year, they used their personal experiences from Hurricane Sandy in their entry for the Hudson Data Jam, sponsored by the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, a competition that promotes data literacy and science engagement while encouraging creativity. Titled Hurricane Sandy: What Happened and When, their project tied as the winner for the Middle School Level 2 Vision Project…and this winning project was quite personal.  

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Congratulations, Class of 2018!

When we talk about what makes Speyer the magical place it is, we don't have to work hard to do this. We just have to look at the Class of 2018. At their graduation ceremony on Tuesday, June 5, they shared their thoughts about what makes Speyer, well, Speyer and gave some rather inspirational advice to future Speyer graduates in attendance…and, really, all of us.

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