Canoeing Trip

Our high school students had the good fortune of a beautiful fall day to canoe and hike at Hueston Woods. We were guided by naturalist Shawn Conner who gave expert advice on how to to paddle, how to stay upright in a canoe (!) and about the birds that were active near the water.

We also enjoyed a stroll through one of the few remnants of Ohio’s original forest. We gazed upon enormous Tulip Poplars and learned about the understory trees, like the Pawpaw and Redbuds which are hosts to specific species of butterflies. We felt fortunate to have a state park near our school to enjoy. 

Posted in field trip, High School, outside, science

SunWatch Archaeological Park

This fall, our Upper Unit students had the opportunity to visit the SunWatch Archaeological Park to learn more about the prehistory of our region. In Social Studies this year, they will be studying the common needs of people and this was a great place to start examining what we need as individuals and as a community to survive and thrive in our environment. 

Our students were able to see how the community was set up and explore recreations of some of the original structures found there. We also looked at the agriculture of the early residents of the Ohio Valley and discussed how archaeologists learn about ancient cultures.


Posted in community, field trip, Middle School, social studies, Uncategorized, Upper Elementary, upper unit

Twelfth Night

The Upper Unit enjoyed a warm summer night taking in Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night. Upper Elementary students read and discussed an adaptation of the play before going. Middle School students did a dramatic reading of the play in class, using a manga-illustrated version of the play with Shakespeare’s exact dialogue.

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Food and Memory

The high school students have been talking about the relationship between food and memory. “Food memories involve very basic, nonverbal, areas of the brain that can bypass your conscious awareness,” writes Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Professor Emerita of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, in an article for the BBC. “This is why you can have strong emotional reactions when you eat a food that arouses those deep unconscious memories. You can’t put those memories into words, but you know there is ‘something’ that the food triggers deep within your past. The memory goes beyond the food itself to the associations you have to that long-ago memory, whether with a place or a person.”

With this concept in mind, we challenged our students to think of a person in their lives that they want to remember, to identify a “signature dish” that that person liked to make or eat, and to prepare the dish in that person’s honor. In this way, the students were able to excavate their memories of a special person through the sensory experience of cooking.

These dishes were presented at the Back-to-school Picnic to the delight of all.

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Primary Delivers a Treat

Every year, the Primary classroom makes a healthy trail mix as a treat for the entire school. Older kids love to see them coming, remembering how delicious it is and many remember when they themselves used to make and bring trail mix around the school.

During morning meetings, Primary students talk about what they’re making and how to be careful to consider what other students can’t eat. Each student comes to the mixing bowl to add a healthy pour of an ingredient. By serving the trail mix in every classroom and the office, Primary students learn where everyone is during the day and that every space is a friendly place. Learning to serve others first before ourselves requires patience and self-regulation. Of course, the chefs get to eat some of their snack when they return to their classroom.

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Musical Set Help

The musical sets are getting a new home of their own. At McGuffey, our yearly, all-school musical is on a five-year rotation which means sets need to be stored safely until they are used once again. They are big, beautifully made by parents and students over the years, and priceless to us.

As we wait our turn in line for a new shed onsite at school, the sets were moved to the pavilion by many dedicated parents and staff. Thank you to the parents (and grandparents!), students, alum, and staff for your muscles and trucks to move them. Thank you to Reserve Run Family Farm for giving them a home away from home for so long! 

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Mindful Music Moments

In our classrooms, students and teachers take time each day to turn inward together and listen to a brief mindfulness prompt and world-class music. We do that every day thanks to Mindful Music Moments. As part of our Peace curriculum, everyone has an opportunity to calm their minds and bodies, creating a peaceful environment in which to learn.

Other aspects of our Peace curriculum include the MindUp program, a neuroscience-based way of learning self-regulation, conflict resolution, and our Change Makers program.

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Creek Outing at Peffer Park

High School students recently took the bus to explore the creek at Peffer park. They came out of the water with various treasures, such as 20,000-year-old wood. The wood was plowed over by the glaciers and then and then preserved in the famous Ohio clay. Other items were a softball size clump of workable clay, horn coral, other abundant fossils, and numerous bits of human-sourced debris. We are grateful to Dr. Kendall Hauer from Miami’s geology department for spending the afternoon with us. And, as always, using the public bus system was a treat!

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Town Hall Meeting

Our Annual Town Hall Meeting was today! We always kicked off with our tradition of students, new and returning, telling jokes. It’s a safe place to tell a joke because each one is greeted with laughter and cheers.

Afterward, in multi-age groups, older students facilitated a discussion of how we can fill other people’s buckets. Students listed their ideas and then shared their lists with the school.
Here are some of the things they felt were ways to help people feel like they belong:

Using preferred pronouns.

Include everyone.

Ask someone if they want help. 

Respect others’ ideas.

Smile at people.

We wrapped up our meeting by singing one of our favorite sing-along songs, “Count on Me,” by Bruno Mars

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2021-22 Yearbook

Grades 1-12 got together to admire the 2021-22 yearbook. Students and staff got a kick out of seeing pictures and asking friends to sign their books. A hearty thank you to the Yearbook Committee for their hard work last spring! 

The Yearbook Committee is one of several committees available to Upper students. This committee was responsible for choosing all of the pictures, a tricky task because they had to make sure every student was in at least one. After the pictures were chosen, they worked together over several weeks to design a beautiful yearbook.

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