News about junior kindergarten and kindergarten classes.
April 29: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
April 30/May 1: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
May 2-3: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Come and get your summer reading! Burgundy's book fair will begin Monday, April 29. Classes will visit the library during the day on Monday (April 29) or Tuesday (April 30) to browse and create wishlists. Families are welcome to return with their children to shop or students may bring money to purchase books during the day. A detailed letter and preview flyer will be coming home this week with your child. Middle school required summer reading will be available. Pay by credit card (in person), cash, or check (made payable to BFCDS). A percentage of each sale supports Burgundy’s library. Back by popular demand: Teacher wishlists will be available if you would like to donate books to classrooms. Thanks for supporting the library!!
We are delighted to invite all grandparents and special friends to visit Burgundy on Friday, May 3, 2019. The event will take place from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. More details to follow!
Please call 703.842.0466 with any questions.
The teachers and Elizabeth, Jared, Pat, and I are back from the annual faculty retreat, which took place at the Cove Monday and Tuesday. We had a wonderful kick-off with teachers, with ice-breakers, great meals, and recreation time, along with a slate of team meetings and great professional conversations on diversity and differentiation, two of our summer reading topics! We are fortunate to have such an incredible mountain campus and academic program there! And, yes, it was hot even there! Big thanks to Burgundy Center for Wildlife Studies Director Vini Schoene ’73, David Sicree, and Jennifer Smith for hosting us!
Teachers, administrators, and staff are on campus this week here in Alexandria, in coordinating meetings, setting up classrooms, and generally getting ready for the first day of school, next Wednesday! Tuesday, the day after Labor Day, is the orientation day for new parents and students.
We'll have the long weekend coming up to contemplate our hopes and dreams for the coming year and for teachers to put final touches on their classroom spaces. And then, beginning with the preliminary activities Tuesday, we will be greeting your children with open hearts, minds, and arms. We look forward to seeing you and your students! Don't forget the BPA First Day Coffee on Wednesday and the Burgundy Back to School BBQ on Friday next week!
See you soon!
Earlier this week I had the great joy of visiting the new Gold Frogger Airlines (parent company K Frogs) at the West Barn Early Childhood building. One K Frogs student was manning the phone at the reservation desk; another seemed to be collecting luggage (real, vintage American Tourister upright suitcases); and yet another two Frogs were warming up the jet for take-off. The students had invented and constructed the entire thing.
Last week I’d been watching some of them starting the ‘EC tarmac’ with large pieces of corrugated cardboard framing the jet, with only occasional check-ins from a teacher. And now I was seeing them animating their creations, again free of interference from tall people. Seeing children’s imaginations in action is as about as entertaining and rewarding as anything one can, well, imagine.
Wednesday I had the pleasure of stopping by the first grade classrooms. They had been preparing for their dramatic productions, which were put on under the expert direction of Roberta Cullen, on the big stage in The Logan Loft. After the performances, they shared looms and weavings they had created, and books they had written and illustrated. The great thing about the first graders’ books is that they’re handcrafted and self-illustrated and developmentally at whatever levels of literacy the children happen to be at, and they’re made to feel great about their creations, because 1) they are awesome and lovely (and sometimes hilarious) to look at and read; and 2) they are so authentic and the kids are so proud of their work.
One of the greatest gifts of Burgundy is sustaining the love of learning that children are born with — a love of learning that too often is tamped down or extinguished by weighty structures and adult expectations. Burgundy preserves the wonder and the adventure of learning. Credit the teachers in our JK, Kindergarten, and first grade who work so hard: to establish the community that supports children being respected and connected and feeling good about themselves and free and available for learning, and to ensure that learning remains a thrilling and enticing enterprise!
Thank you to all the parents who joined us last Thursday night for Curriculum Night. The event gave attendees a chance to learn more about our drama program from grades 1-8, our science program from JK-8 and our Middle School math program. It is impressive to see how the curriculum builds from year to year and integrates with our subject areas. We learned about the 2nd and 3rd grade study, the Shakespeare play in 4th and 5th that connects with the Medieval unit in social studies, and the herbivory project in 6th grade math that combines science study at the Cove with statistical work in math class, to name just a few. We participated in a drama activity, tried to solve a tricky math problem, and reviewed student materials from each subject.
It’s hard to recreate the entire experience, but the faculty teams have shared their presentations, available via the links below, for those who were not able to attend. Please note that the links lead to PDFs and some elements of the presentations (e.g., videos) may not be available in this format.
We hope to see you at next year’s event!
Annual Giving supports memorable learning opportunities for all our students, on campus and off! For virtually all field trips during the year, the cost of transportation and admission is already covered, not an add-on fee for families. Annual Giving helps make this possible.
The Huntley Meadows field trips that the first grade classes go on each year are a great example of the importance of field trips in the curriculum. The spring visit is coming up on April 24. Huntley Meadows Park, located just four miles from Burgundy, is a nearby resource ideal for younger students. The series of field trips — one each in fall, winter, and spring — offer first graders the opportunity to study wetland plants and animals and to learn about the importance of wetlands in the ecosystem. They observe how the wetlands change with the seasons, noting the differences in the plants and types of wildlife encountered on each trip. The field trips gives students an excellent opportunity to hone their observational skills, a key component of science education.
The Huntley Meadows trips also correspond to a central tenet in Burgundy’s mission, which is to instill respect for the natural world. After each trip, first graders share their experiences with the class verbally and in written form. They also draw a picture that reflects what they saw. The spring field trip is paired with research about local wildlife. Many choose to focus on wildlife they saw on their trips. As a culmination of the project, students create a book that allows them to write about scientific concepts in an age-appropriate way.
There are many more great field trips coming up this spring! These are just a sampling of the opportunities offered to Burgundy students throughout the year:
- Buckeyes and Viceroys will enhance their knowledge of astronomy today with a visit to the planetarium at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria.
- As part of their study of Asia, which the classes are beginning now, the Buckeyes and Viceroys will also visit the Japan Information & Culture Center (part of the Japanese embassy) in the next few weeks.
- Coopers and Redtails students will head to the Kennedy Center April 26.
If you've already made a gift to support Annual Giving, thank you! If you have not made a gift or would like to make an additional gift, please consider doing so today to support field trips and so much more!
Questions about giving? Please contact Michele McCabe, Advancement and Annual Giving Coordinator, at email@example.com.
This past weekend Burgundy lost one of our beloved goats, Ruby. She would have been 9 in August and lived a wonderful and full life at Burgundy. In Ruby’s passing, I have been reminded of exactly what makes Burgundy the best place for me and so special for all our students. The value of truth, as well as the belief that social and emotional intelligence belong at the heart of education, are exactly why I will be a Burgundian for life.
On Monday, I was invited to meet with the Kindergarten and First Grade classes to share the sad news about Ruby and to answer questions from the students. I’ve also met with JK and 2/3 students this week. I was prepared for thoughtful questions, like those I had seen previously when discussing the death of a Burgundy animal, but I was simply blown away by the sensitivity and understanding shown by the students and my colleagues in assisting in teaching the difficult lesson of coping with a loss.
I love that we, as educators, respect and trust our students enough to be appropriately honest with them about sad events. After explaining the story of Ruby’s natural passing, the students asked questions such as “Where did she die?” “Where and how was she buried?” and “How do the other animals feel about Ruby being gone?” I was pleased to tell them about Ruby’s happy life, relatively easy death, and the way the other animals reacted. Much like our students, the herd mates of a deceased animal have questions and need an opportunity to grieve. After Ruby died, I allowed the other animals back into the barn to see her body. They each took turns smelling her body to gather information about what happened to their friend, processed it to understand, and then went about their normal routines. Just like humans who are given the opportunity to gather information and process a loss, the animals have more peaceful reactions when allowed that time to grieve.
I was also glad to both hear and share the varied feelings about the news of Ruby’s death. I explained to the students that it is okay to feel sad that she’s gone, happy that we got to know her, a mix of emotions, or feel nothing at all. The teachers and I asked the students to share some ideas of what they can do if they feel sad, encouraging them to think of their own coping mechanisms. Talking to a friend, recalling fond memories, drawing or writing feelings, and crying all your tears out were all suggested by the students. They are so wise.
As part of the mutual respect seen so frequently between students and teachers at Burgundy, I was also thankful to be able to share some of my own emotions about Ruby’s passing. Several of the teachers also shed tears and shared feelings. It is so valuable to our students that we can be open about our challenges and hard moments to model appropriate processing and expression of feelings. In addition to leading the Kindergarten classes in a small meditation, Elizabeth Nibley explained the importance of being mindful of others’ feelings and how to offer sympathy to those in need. She reminded them that Ruby dying was particularly difficult for me, as her caretaker, and the teachers agreed that the students could practice expressing sympathy by sharing a kind word with me as they left the meeting. I was personally touched by the sweet words and hugs, but also so impressed at the students’ ability to offer compassion. Even as adults, it can be hard to find the right words to say in times of sadness and we can all benefit from practicing mindfulness and understanding how to appropriately express sympathy.
In the spirit of engaging the whole child, I am so thankful that Burgundy believes in the ability to make any moment a teachable moment, including the hard lessons that become opportunities to teach critical social skills that will be used throughout our students’ lives. Our students, and we, are better for it.
The Burgundy Parents Association is having a Family Game Night on Friday, April 20 and all Burgundy families are invited to attend! New families enrolling this fall are also invited. Join us 6-8 p.m. in the Burgundy Gym for a fun family night out, featuring a wide variety of games to play with family and friends, and plenty of food (pizza) for all. If you can attend, please register by April 18.
Box Top coordinator Meghan Semiao gathered each classroom’s collection of Box Tops earlier this month and shared the numbers. Across our Alexandria campus, we collected 905 Box Tops, with the Viceroys and Kindergarten classes contributing the most. Each one is worth 10 cents, so that means this collection netted $90.50 for Burgundy’s annual giving fund, which supports professional development, program and instruction, and financial aid. You can send Box Tops in anytime! We’ll plan for one more collection and count before the end of the year.
JK + Main Office: 1
This year’s Arts Festival will be in a new home—the Logan Arts & Community Center! The event was originally scheduled for March 13, but we are rescheduling it for Tuesday, April 10. The date change will allow for the installation of a layer of paneling on the walls of the gallery—necessary before we can display art there. Delivery of the panels has been delayed. With this change, the Arts Festival coincides with the celebration and dedication of the building and Campus Commons on the following morning of Wednesday, April 11.