It's always exciting going into the holidays, getting a break from our day-to-day lives, enjoying more family time, gifts and giving, and ringing in a new year. We've even had our first snow. And true to form, the student government has organized a party to send us off for the winter holidays. We do so love our parties -- the quirkier the better.
It all feels warmly familiar and so different at the same time. For teachers and parents, myself included, I think it's been largely a fretful year, mostly because we care so much about our children's continued growth and happiness, and there's been so much potential for emotional ups and downs through this restrictive period. I can't thank the teachers enough for all their heartfelt encouragement and support of the students. None of us expected the pandemic to last so long, yet I'm hopeful we will be on the other side of these difficult times in the near future.
My big wish is that we can all find that familiar sense of joy and gratitude this holiday season. There's a lot to be thankful for.
Be well, enjoy the break, and I look forward to seeing you all soon.
In Exciting College News...
Our seniors have already received acceptances from Bryn Mawr College, George Mason University, Goucher College, Guilford College, Harvard University, and the University of Mary Washington. Congratulations! We're proud of you! We'll let you know about other acceptances as they come in.
30th Anniversary Announcement
The 30th Anniversary Celebration is going virtual this February!
When we postponed the 30th Anniversary Celebration from June 2020 to June 2021, we had every hope that the large in person gathering we envisioned would be able to be safely held by that time. As time has gone on and we’ve learned more about COVID-19 and the safety measures it requires, it’s become clear that large in person celebrations will be one of the last things that return once the country starts to return to more normal day-to-day living.
Instead of continuing to postpone the 30th until we could hold it safely in person, we’ve decided to come together and celebrate now, virtually. This will be a chance for The New School community to spend time together, catch up with old friends and teachers, and support one another during this time when we all could use some human connection. You’ll even have the chance to see one another “face-to-face.”
Please save the NEW date for the Virtual 30th Anniversary Celebration: Saturday, February 27, 2021.
Tickets for the Virtual 30th Anniversary Celebration will go on sale Friday, January 15th. Tickets will be $10, and all proceeds will support students and teachers through The New School Fund.
In January we’ll also be announcing what you can expect from this virtual celebration. One thing we are very excited to offer is the opportunity for you to “mingle” with other guests.
We are excited to celebrate with you!
Teacher Wishlist Success!
Thank you to everyone who supported the Teacher Wish List campaign. Because of you, the Wish List was fully funded in just 24 hours. And you didn’t stop there! You went above and beyond, helping raise $8,140 total, and we are truly grateful. Your donations helped us buy everything off of the teachers’ list, and the extra funding will continue to help throughout the year. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your commitment to New School teachers.
Thank you, Donors!
We are delighted to share this special thank you from some of our advisory groups and the faculty of The New School:
What's Your Favorite New School Memory?
To celebrate The New School’s 30th Anniversary, Travis, a former teacher, shared one of his favorite memories about the school:
Send us your videos to celebrate our 30th Anniversary!
Last quarter, I took a “Public Speaking and Debate” class with Virginia. This class was on how to speak in public properly and talked about the ability to convey the argument to audiences. I hesitated a little to choose this class because I wasn’t good at speaking, and I never had a proper debate in school. However, I knew what my weaknesses were and I decided they would need to improve one of these days.
We read a book with basic information, like what fallacies are and how to prep for a debate. Not only did I like that we got to choose the debate topic, but I also loved the homework where we needed to film videos of ourselves speaking. It made me more interested and even if it was stressful, it helped me to improve my speaking in front of a camera a lot. We wrote the outline of both the proposition and the opposition of an argument. I was grateful that she gave us enough time to complete it, which allowed me to think more deeply. In this process, I noticed that to get ready for a debate requires lots of worthwhile, acceptable, and accurate information. This means that the information needs to provide strong evidence in support of your argument. This evidence must be either very persuasive all on its own, or be supported by research done by professionals.
I had a hard time figuring out the work on my own, but we created teams to assemble our points. During the team work, my team members helped me a lot. I liked that we gave feedback, advice, and compliments to each other. This team was the best because of our teamwork and because we were all super enthusiastic. We had our own team meetings on Google Meet to work on our debate and practice over the weekend. We supported each other, which led me to feel confident.
Before taking this class, I thought that a debate was arguing with opponents and refuting them. I never thought that the arguments need a lot of supportive studies, consideration of my delivery, and persuasive information. But, before we had our exhibition, we had a practice debate, which led me to have a successful debate exhibition. Now, I am so thankful for the school and the teacher that gave me the opportunity to improve my weaknesses and knowledge.
(By Erika Choi)
More Thoughts on "Public Speaking and Debate"
During the first quarter of this school year, I took a class in Public Speaking and Debate. I’d figured that I needed a bit more practice in speaking in general. Every time my parents invite their friends over, I just look down and shake their hands like the most socially awkward kid. Now you see, I’m a huge extrovert...only with my friends and parents. The thing is when I meet someone I don’t know, or if I haven’t seen that person in a while, I just freak out in my head and say the stupidest things. It’s kinda like what I do when I talk in school; I literally make the dumbest and most awkward jokes, and that only got worse during the pandemic. Okay, so maybe I needed A LOT more practice with speaking, but hey, I presented a PowerPoint in front of people at George Mason back in middle school, along with some other students, there’s no way I could mess up in this class. Boy, was I wrong.
In class, I had to do Flipgrid assignments. In these assignments, I had to look at some questions from my teacher, record a video answering the questions, and send it to my teacher. Man, I had to make SO many attempts to do well in these assignments. Sometimes, I’d mess up in answering the questions, other times I would mess up points that I tried making. The worst part is that I kept stuttering, using “um” and “uh” over and over again, making it virtually impossible for me to get the “Public Speaking” part of that class down. I’d always seem to mess up with my communication for pretty much EVERY Flipgrid assignment I did. How do normal people manage not to say “um” and “uh” every five seconds? - It really surprises me.
For the “Debate” part of this class, I, along with two other students in the class, had to prepare for a debate against another team about a certain topic. One team has to debate for the Proposition (in assertion towards the topic), with the other team debating against the topic, or debating for the Opposition. But you had to prepare for both sides of the topic because you get the side that you actually debate for on the day of the debate through a coin toss. The thing is, the topic was “video games cause violence” with the Opposition being that “video games don’t cause violence.” Now, this topic did seem pretty intriguing to me, because I wanted to know if they actually caused violence or not. But, there’s a really small problem with debating this topic. There is no genuine evidence that video games cause violence. After researching a whole lot, most articles about that topic showed that there wasn’t any correlation between video games and violence. So, if you really think about it, this debate would be absolutely one-sided no matter which team got the Opposition side since the only way to rebut would be to say that there was a correlation between video games and violence. I thought I had found some good research that it did, after scrolling through Google Chrome for 5 hours. The evidence I had for the Proposition was like finding Pizza at a Popeyes. But, after the debate happened, I proved myself to be totally wrong, once again.
By the time the debate rolled around, I believed that my team and I were completely prepared to win, no matter what side we got. For some reason, I was chosen to be the team leader for my team. I had felt from my position that I could win something as a leader, rather than as a subordinate. And as you can imagine, we got the Proposition, while the other team got the opposition. I was the first person to speak, and while I did manage to make most of my important points, I still stuttered. But then, everything went completely 180°. It turned out that some of the data that my team had for video games causing violence were proven to be false. I couldn’t think about any rebuttals or anything I could say after that. So yeah, the other team won. Like I said before, the fact that there’s no significant evidence that video games cause violence makes the debate generally one-sided.
Well, this seems too self-deprecating, so I’ll list some positives. I learned a lot about how a debate works. A debate is not only run by the debaters, there are other roles that civilize the debate itself, like a moderator and a timer. In this case, those roles were filled by the remainder of my class. I took the role of a moderator during a separate debate about social media, someone who is essentially the “referee” of the debate. Since my class was doing these debates by Zoom, I could mute and disable the cameras of other students. I didn’t really need to do much, because the debaters were being as civil as possible. I also learned about how to be a team leader, and about being considerate to people that you work with. It honestly was a great feeling to be a leader, and I’d like to be a leader in something again. Even though I never got over my stuttering problem and some things went south, I learned from what I did wrong while being proud of myself over the things I had done well. And hey, whatever I messed up in my Public Speaking and Debate class is WAY better than taking FOUR AP exams, and a test that Ivy Leagues say they don’t care about, but really do. (If you guys don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m referring to the SAT.) I hate Junior year already.
(By Sarosh Parvez)
The New School is holding our annual Science Fest online on Wednesday, April 14th! Volunteers should plan on being available that evening to prepare, judge projects, and submit forms. All projects will be pre recorded and sent to you Wednesday evening and all forms should be completed by Thursday afternoon. You may also forward this to anyone who has a career or interest in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, math, etc.) that may be interested in participating. Thank you in advance for your help in making our event successful!
Contact Rachel Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org or any members of the science department if you have any questions.
A Season of Gratitude
The Student Government has been hard at work this year bolstering that wonderful sense of community that makes The New School so special. In November, we took time to give thanks for each other via a Gratitude Board shared with the whole school. Below we have shared some of the messages of love and thanks shared in the community:
New School Bonus Programs
The New School participates in bonus programs that generate donations for the school when you do your everyday shopping online. They are easy to sign up for, and can have a big impact for students and teachers.
Here are four easy ways to support The New School while you shop:
1. AmazonSmile works with your existing Prime account and donates 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases when you select The New School as your charity: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/82-1288652
2. Through CauseNetwork, some of your favorite online stores will donate a portion of every purchase you make to The New School. You can sign up at: https://newschoolva.causenetwork.com/
3. Download the BoxTops app to start scanning your grocery store receipts to automatically find and add products to our earnings online. This video shows you how to scan and submit your receipts.
If you do your grocery shopping online, you can submit your email receipts from select retailers. All you have to do is create a BoxTops account and forward your email receipt to email@example.com. Visit this site to learn more.
Traditional Box Tops clips may continue to be found on many products. You can still clip them and send them to the school until they expire.
4. Through Harris Teeter’s “Together in Education” program, when you buy HT brand items, a percentage of those purchase dollars goes back to The New School. This includes purchases made at HT pharmacies.
Go to www.harristeeter.com to link your VIC card today. VIC cards need to be relinked each school year.
New School TIE Code: 5713
Thank you for your support!
If you have any questions about these programs, contact our Director of Development & Community Engagement, Noelle Andreano, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Increase the Impact of Your Donation
Many corporations offer matching gift programs for employees and their families. This is a great opportunity to increase your gift in support of The New School. You can check with your employer’s human resources department to find out if they offer matching gifts. This information can also often be found in the list of benefits provided to you by your employer. Please let us know what you need from us in order to process a match through your organization. Contact our Director of Development & Community Engagement, Noelle Andreano, at email@example.com with any questions.
One of the distinguishing features of our school is our sense of community. This newsletter is one more way to build and maintain that community among our current students, parents, faculty, and alumni. We hope you like it!