- Upper School
By Sylvia Kelly
NSCD is a very welcoming school for new students. When I started my first day here, everyone was kind to me and the environment was incredibly friendly. I was really nervous about my first day because I was going to be the new girl, in the new city, in the new school. I couldn't stop thinking about what the people would be like, whether I would make any friends, and a million other little things.
The day of orientation was not what I was expecting...though I didn't really know what I was expecting. I guess it was just surprising when we had a talk about inclusivity. We talked about communicating with each other and the meaning of community. It was nice to be talking about these things since it was something that I had never really focused or thought about before. The teachers showed us the ropes and I got to know a few of the students better. It was a lot less stressful than I thought it would be.
At my old school in Atlanta, things were very different. The environment could be hostile to those in the minority, especially those who were part of the LGBTQ+ community. The teachers and faculty never really spoke about being kind and open since they were mostly focused on their image. The students did come from more diverse backgrounds, but it was more about being diverse for its own sake and less about being inclusive. But at NSCD, we actually talk about the issues and take action. We even introduce ourselves to each other with our pronouns.
I'm extremely happy to go to a school where the students are welcomed to voice their opinions about current events and issues. And I'm not the only one who thinks this. A ninth grader who wishes to stay anonymous told me, "I think that NSCD is an especially inclusive school to both existing and new students. It was for me my first year.” The fact that we talked about it at all was more than my old school could ever say. I love that there is a United Students of Color club. And an LGBTQ+ affinity group. I love how the teachers can be considerate of the students' perspective along with their own. My teachers back in Atlanta were a little less than understanding.
Overall, my experience at NSCD has been great so far. I've made a lot of friends and I hope that I can make more. I'm looking forward to my high school years here. And to all of the new students who still feel like you haven't quite found your place, you'll get there soon. I promise. You just need to reach out and try.
NSCD held a Fall Day of Service on Saturday, November 13, benefiting The Bloc in Chicago and Connections for the Homeless. More than 200 food items were donated on Saturday for The Bloc, supplementing what had already been collected by an upper school student-led food drive.
Earlier this month, NSCD welcomed singers, drummers and dancers from the American Indian Dance Center of Chicago (AIC), who performed for the entire school at Morning Ex. The program was a cultural demonstration in recognition of Native American Heritage Month.
The NSCD upper school troupe, The Duff Players, will perform “You want some lunch? You betcha!” on November 18, at 4 p.m. in the auditorium. The Duff Players is a cast of upper school students tasked with bringing to life a collection of third and fourth grade stories through movement, music, costumes, props and much more.
Almost 150 children received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine Friday, November 12, during a vaccination clinic held on campus. The school partnered with the Illinois Department of Public Health to provide pediatric doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children aged 5-11, as well as booster doses of Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for faculty and staff. The clinic was open to NSCD students and their families, even if siblings attend school elsewhere.
The fall John Almquist Art Gallery features the works of 17 members of North Shore Country Day’s faculty and staff. Artwork on display includes ceramics; fiber arts including felting, knitting and quilting; photography; painting; and more. The show runs through November 19.
Each year, Middle School Science Teacher Lee Block requires his eighth graders to build and launch bottle rockets. The goal of this project is to apply what they have learned during their study of Newton’s Laws of Motion.
The friendly competition is designed to see who can launch a bottle into the air and keep it afloat for the longest period of time. Students must follow specific rules about the type and size of the bottle, the design of the nose cone and fins, the parachute and the amount of pressure (PSI) pumped into it.
NSCD is a sponsor of this upcoming Family Action Network program on November 4, at 7 p.m.
For more information and to register visit the FAN website.
North Shore Country Day's senior kindergarten class recently paraded around the school dressed as monarch butterflies, singing songs and displaying their handmade wings with their parents and our community. The students learned all about monarchs through an integrated curriculum that incorporated literacy, math, science, social studies and art.
The junior kindergarten recently painted rocks with inspirational words written on them and hid them in various spots around campus for students, faculty and staff to find.
Each year, NSCD hosts the Harold H. Hines Jr. Visiting Fellowship that brings to campus a distinguished individual who exemplifies the school motto, “Live and Serve.” This year’s visiting fellow was Rajiv Vinnakota. Raj has dedicated his career to supporting students from underserved communities and to building a stronger democracy.