News of the Schools

Education happenings

    After a lengthy application process, Dana Cucci, a junior at East Hampton High School, was accepted as one of the few students from the United States to participate in the International Joint Science Education Program based in Greenland. Her experience will include 14 days conducting independent research in the Kangerlussuaq area of Greenland, funded by the National Science Foundation and run by the Arctic Research Consortium, the same organization behind Lisa Seff’s trek to Alaska.
    Ms. Seff, a Springs School science teacher who is joining a science program this summer in the Arctic, alerted Dana and other past students to the special grant for high school students, and Dana was lucky enough to be selected.
    The East Hampton High School Dance Company held its annual showcase last Thursday. The showcase included ballet, lyrical, swing, and hip-hop, as well as dances choreographed by students. A select group of dancers will continue preparing for a lyrical piece choreographed by Tracy Van Brunt and will go to competition April 20.
    On Friday, the Key Club welcomed Representative Tim Bishop to the high school for a discussion on local and national issues. Key Club members had the opportunity to question Mr. Bishop on topics related to health care, education, student involvement in the community, and energy use. Andrea Hernandez, the club advisor, and Aubrey Peterson, the high school counselor, helped the students set up the discussion.
    The Key Club has also started a Relay for Life team. Students, with Ms. Hernandez as captain, will be attending an all-night walk for cancer in Southampton. Students who are part of the team will raise money by walking laps inside a gym for a full 24 hours (with breaks). Their goal is to raise $3,000. Anyone interested in sponsoring a student may contact the high school.
    Also on Friday, the high school French Club held its second annual fashion show to support the Retreat. Students’ families, teachers, and friends were invited to the school cafeteria, where a runway was set up, to watch students strut their stuff. Local stores such as LF, Lilly Pulitzer, Kai Lani, the Retreat Boutique, and others provided clothing for the models to wear.
    Guests helped themselves to snacks and “mocktails” while bidding in a paper auction. A speaker from the Retreat spoke about her own experiences with domestic violence and encouraged students to seek help if needed (the Retreat had pamphlets available) and welcomed volunteers to join. The night concluded with a “Masquerade” theme. Admission was $10, and all proceeds went to the Retreat.    By Aoife Ford

    Prekindergarten and kindergarten registration packets for students not currently enrolled at Bridgehampton are available in the district clerk’s office at Bridgehampton School. Registration materials must be returned to the clerk by April 19. More information is available on the school Web site at
     Students who are not currently enrolled in the prekindergarten program but whose parents plan to register them for the 2012-13 kindergarten program have been asked to contact the district clerk to make an appointment. Kindergarten screening will take place on May 9.
     Three terms of three-years on the school board are up for election this May. Interested Bridgehampton community  members can pick up a nominating petition at the district office at the school. These petitions are due back by 5 p.m. on April 16.
    On Friday, students harvested kale that survived the winter and donated it to a benefit dinner for the Josh Levine Foundation held at the American Hotel on Sunday. The educational school garden is overseen by Slow Food East End, the Edible School Garden Group, and the Bridgehampton Edible School Garden Project.

    On Saturday the Hayground School welcomed prospective families to an open house. Families toured the school and baked focaccia in the school’s wood-burning pizza oven.
    Liz Bertsch’s class is in the midst of preparing for the making of their western. Students watched the Coen brothers’ version of “True Grit.” The students are developing the characters for their film and hope to build the narrative around them. Also, this week they conceived and shot a stop-motion film using Post-Its.
    The senior learners have finished this semester’s apprenticeships and are sharing what they did and learned to the community tonight.

    It’s health and fitness week at the Montauk School. Hosted by the PTA, students will be able to buy healthful snacks, such as multiflavored smoothies, during recess. Special guests will visit and show students a few yoga poses and offer meditation tips during physical education classes.
    Today, the kindergarten class will have breakfast with the Easter Bunny at John’s Pancake House.
    Second graders went on an archaeological dig on Tuesday. No word yet on what they might have found.
    The eighth grade visited Washington, D.C., this week and saw the capital’s famous cherry trees in full bloom. They visited the Smithsonian Institution and Capitol Hill, where they met up with Representative Tim Bishop. When they visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Shane Moloney and Emma Norris laid a wreath there.
    They also met with Kristen Holmes, a former Montauk School student. She told them about her job as the studio director for Senate television, for which interviews, shows, and announcements are produced for senators. Students viewed the capital’s memorials at night, and the weather was great.
    “The students had an exciting, educational, and exhausting time,” said Brad Dickinson, a social studies teacher who organizes the annual trip.

Ross Upper School
    Ross Upper School students on the M-term program Expressions Through Movement and Ethnomusicology: Afro-Beat Music treated the Ross community to a special presentation on March 19. Held in the Senior Building Lecture Hall, the evening featured a variety of performances including African drumming, singing, acting, and, of course, dancing. Outside the lecture hall, students in the Edible Language M-term prepared sushi for the guests.
    Ross School eighth graders learned the art of playwriting and all aspects of producing a play after working with Stony Brook Southampton’s Young American Writers Project. Through this program, they discovered their own unique voices while learning the intricacies of producing a play. Students, including those from English language learning classes, wrote 41 one-act plays for two actors about issues relevant and appropriate to their age group.
    From that collection, seven plays were selected to be performed, four at Ross and three at Stony Brook Southampton.
    On March 23 and 24, Ross joined other schools that participated in YAWP for a community performance in the Avram Theater at Stony Brook Southampton. The Ross student plays performed were “The Interview,” by Emma Engel, about two guys stuck in an elevator; “Don’t Get Caught,” by Evan Johnson, about how good things can come out of bad situations, and “The Christmas Play,” by Katya Wolosoff, on quirky family dynamics and the nature of belief.

Ross Lower School
    The annual Peace Luncheon at Ross Lower School was held on March 23 in the Fieldhouse. Organized by the Lower School Parents Association, with special help this year from Jennifer Ringelstein, a parent, this popular event brings together the entire Lower School community for a moment of reflection on the importance of peace followed by a delicious, buffet-style meal prepared by the Ross Cafe.
    Lunch tables for every grade and for faculty and staff were set up around the school’s large peace tree. Paper doves featuring messages of peace dangled from the branches. Glenn Ban, a Ross parent, assisted the students in creating some of the doves. Large peace symbols made by students also decorated the walls along with large peace paintings. In addition, the fourth graders replicated bird sounds on bamboo flutes that they had carved themselves.

    The Springs School’s sixth annual World’s Fair will be held on May 11. The committee members, led by Christine Cleary, are promising ethnic food, cultural performances, artifacts, and activities representing over 30 countries. Some new items include origami, a storytelling activity, and a photo booth.
    “Winning isn’t everything,” explained Coach John Foster. His junior high boys basketball team was just honored with the sportsmanship award chosen by the referee association. It was the only junior high program in eastern Suffolk County to be honored this year for basketball.
    Alana Ellis, Finn Wainwright, and Paul Vespe have been chosen to perform in the 2012 Suffolk County Music Educators Association festival at Longwood High School.
    Tracey Frazier’s fifth grade class is creating a hallway bulletin with the theme salute to spring, showcasing the students’ poetry and artwork. The paintings were inspired by the second blooming of the class’s amaryllis.
    The seventh graders are writing a life book. They summarize their childhood, include recent memories, and then imagine their future. The albums include 50 photos. They write a letter to themselves as seniors in high school, and then Adam Osterweil mails the letters to the students during their senior year.
    Sean Knight’s sixth grade is working on self-propelled go-carts. They are thinking like engineers going through the process of creating a new product, focusing on design, construction, testing, evaluation, and redesign. The students advanced to creating go-carts that could spin and turn.
By the Journalism Club