Newsletter Banner
September 11, 2012
Facebook Twitter School Seal
pic1 New Faculty 2012
Summer Improvements
Dr. Sharon Schaffer - Object Based Learning
Lead with Honor 2.0
Welcome from the Parent School Council - PSC

First Day of School 2012 - We welcome 93 New Students!

pic1 Every year, on the first day of school at PBDA, at least twenty percent of our students are new to our school. The first day always brings a dose of excited nervousness to everyone involved from the children to their parents and even to the teachers. But, being new to a school as either a child or parent brings another level of worry to the day. Fortunately, PBDA is a comfortable place that has earned its reputation as a family school. Nervousness might peak at 7:50 A.M. on the first day, but, almost without exception, it is long forgotten by 3:00 P.M. The welcome that PBDA extends goes far beyond the formal greeting from school officials to the countless acts of kindness that come from the youngest to the oldest among us.
pic2 PBDA is not an institution as much as it is a community. Every member helps to shape it around the common goal of providing an excellent education for the children of our community. Every member is needed because our common goal requires the efforts and talents of many. Every child is invited to participate fully so that our classrooms are vibrant. Every adult is asked to volunteer – time, ideas, talent, and more. There is no waiting to be accepted – new or not, you’re needed.
pic3 This year, Palm Beach Day Academy welcomes 93 new students – 65 Lower Campus, 28 Upper Campus. Several families have moved to the area and joined our school from states including Texas, New York, California, Illinois, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Jersey and countries including Austria, China, Finland, Chile, Japan, France and Germany.
Welcome one and all. The success of this year depends on everyone, so step up, speak up and get involved. We're all counting on each other.

Welcome New Faculty &Staff

pic1 Cindy DeSilva joins our Development team as our new Development Coordinator. Cindy will be working with Kathleen Emmett our Director of Development, Paula Martin, our Assistant Director of Development, and Anita Nida, our Development Associate. Cindy joins us most recently from the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties where she worked as Director of Development. Prior to that, she served as Director of Annual Programs at Hospice of Palm Beach County for 10 years. She is a past board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Women’s Chamber of Commerce. She is a member of the Forum Club and Leadership Palm Beach County, class of 2009.
pic2 Ben Skinner is our instrumental teacher and will work with our interested fifth and sixth grade students. Ben is a professional musician who has performed from New York City to Key West. He is a member of the Palm Beach Brass, the Florida Wind Symphony, the Palm Beach Pops, the Boca Pops, the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra, Atlantic Classical Orchestra, and the Key West Symphony, as well as a founder of Brass Renaissance. He has recorded albums with Abraham Laboriel, Justo Almario, and Chester Thompson, and has performed on BBC television. As an educator, Mr. Skinner has served as Band Director at Jupiter High School and Lake Worth High School, has been an artist-in-residence for Bak Middle School of the Arts and a consultant for many Palm Beach County and Broward County Schools. Ben has 10 years of experience developing, building, and improving bands and bringing them to a competitive level. We are excited for the 5th & 6th Graders who will be under the guidance of this expert musician and teacher.

Summer 2012

pic1 This summer, the Matthews Auditorium complex underwent the first stage of its transformation into the Matthews Performing Arts Center. Beginning shortly after Commencement last June, workers began gutting the space and then doing the foundation work for big changes ahead. The complex involves more than the auditorium and stage. In addition to that familiar space, two upstairs spaces, that have received multiple transformations over the years, and a seldom-visited old locker room below, were both cleared out in preparation for a total reconfiguring. The goal this summer was to get the dustiest and noisiest work finished before the start of classes last week. Even though the work on Matthews continues with the occasional thump, inside the classrooms, a normal school year is off to a great start.
pic2 On Lower Campus, the first steps of the Educational Playscapes Project are underway. The goal of this long-term endeavor is to create an engaging outdoor learning environment that stimulates the development of the “whole child” through self-discovery, natural exploration, innovation, and imagination. Outdoor spaces will be transformed into inviting places for hands-on learning.
These projects are made possible by the generous support of the Great Expectations Campaign. We look forward to sharing future updates.

From Peacocks to Picasso - Object-Based Learning

pic1 Dr. Sharon Shaffer, Founding Director of the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center, conducted an all-day professional development seminar for PBDA faculty and guests on August 29th, during faculty orientation week. The event took place as scheduled in spite of Tropical Storm Isaac, rescheduled meetings, and unfinished classrooms. The objective was simple enough: explore the power and potential of objects to enrich learning.
pic2 Participants engaged in various activities centered on a plethora of artifacts. They analyzed a collection made up of a carpenter’s ruler, antique eggbeater, palette, and violin bow on the quest to identifying connections and themes. Dr. Shaffer presented a gavel as a provocation to exploring multiple points of view and context in the classroom setting. Objects have the power to stimulate, provoke, and leave lasting impressions. They invite learners to explore the unknown and build on prior knowledge, using what is concrete and tangible.
Object-based learning is another strategy that PBDA educators have employed to create powerful learning opportunities for students. As an expert on the topic, Dr. Shaffer demonstrated her passion for this approach and provided creative ways for replicating these techniques in the classroom. As a new year gets underway, we are excited about the continued possibilities for building knowledge through object-based learning.

Lead With Honor

pic1 On the Upper Campus, student leadership is being emphasized through the Lead with Honor initiative. Believing that all student members of our community have leadership qualities, the faculty is determined to reveal those qualities to our students and encourage them to contribute their skills to the excellence of their second home - PBDA. On the first day of school, our students were divided in to five “houses” – Trust, Empathy, Respect, Responsibility & Integrity – the five personal qualities of a positive leader, and the five qualities that are emphasized on the Lead with Honor banner. They will remain in those groups for the year and meet periodically to design activities to highlight the importance of their house’s quality to members of the other houses.
pic2 To prepare for the first-day Lead with Honor activity, the 8th and 9th Graders met on the Thursday before the opening of school for an evening of “Midnight Madness.” During this planning evening, the older students learned about the year’s events and were asked to think about ways to build a positive community. In addition to that, there was a little madness. The students were surprised that their teachers not only sanctioned, but also planned a massive game of Man Hunt that was played throughout the darkened Upper Campus building. Armed with flashlights, the hunters swarmed the building searching for their hiding friends.
pic1 On the first day of school, students were re-introduced to the Lead with Honor program in the first hour of the first morning. The final activity that morning put our students into a self-greeting receiving line that brought each child face to face with every other child for a handshake and hello. Last Friday, students in 4th through 9th Grade committed to supporting the Lead with Honor initiative by signing a banner. Their teachers signed as well. The banner will hang in the atrium where all of the signatures will be visible reminders of our community's dedication to the ideals of Integrity, Responsibility, Trust, Empathy and Respect.
Click to read the opening Lead with Honor address the upper schoolers heard on Friday.

PSC - Welcome from Robert Norberg, PSC President

pic1 The Parent School Council (PSC) would like to extend an energized welcome to all Students, Parents, Faculty, Staff, Trustees and families of PBDA. We can’t wait to share and hear all the stories from summer adventures. Your PSC is ready to take on the excitement of 2012 – 2013. The PSC officers have remained in action during the summer assisting in the New Family Mentor Program and advance planning for events and room parents for the up coming year. The Upper Campus Room Parents have already been selected during the last week of school and the Lower Campus Room Parents will be selected during the first week of school. Stay tuned for lists and more information via emails, newsletters and the website. The first few weeks of school will be filled with meetings and coffees in order to communicate the school's vision and plans to all parents. Parents will also have the opportunity to get involved by signing up for event committees. I encourage all parents to volunteer in some way to enhance the PBDA experience for your child. As I always say, "We all have some special talent to offer to support the education of our children." Please contact one of us listed below if you have any questions.
See you on Campus,
Robert Norberg, PSC President
Susan Elhilow, PSC Vice President, Upper Campus
Jennifer Wilson, PSC Vice President, Lower Campus

Click to view past e-Newsletters