It’s mid-September and those of us with children in the schools are off and running. We have most back-to-school nights behind us, but picture days are ahead of us.
By Annette McLoughlin
It’s mid-September and those of us with children in the schools are off and running. We have most back-to-school nights behind us, but picture days are ahead of us. We need to contend with our consciences and calculate our free time as we consider the pleas from our PO presidents who are recruiting volunteers (for class parents, event chairs, Famous Artists docents, etc.) We need to sign up for after-school clubs; buy a year’s worth of spirit wear; remember to pay PO dues and order directories; schedule parent-teacher conferences; fill out medical forms and permission slips; fund lunch money accounts; update SchoolBee, School Messenger, Paypams, and Payschools; sign up for the Power Schools Parent Portal, and get our kids to hand over their fusion page log-ins. And maybe make those last (hopefully) trips to Staples. And while we have all been scrambling to get our children settled into the new year, our schools and parent organizations have also been busy lining up a cornucopia of great-quality extra-curricular activities that will help to turn them all into well-rounded, interesting, and interested young adults.
Here are some of the clubs and events that our children can look forward to over the next couple of months.
Rye High School>
The school held its activities fair last week, which is the day when the students both represent and join extra-curricular clubs. The list of clubs is interesting, diverse, and socially responsible. It includes Entrepreneur Club, Environmental Sportsman Club, Garnet and Black (student newspaper) Garnet Insider (HS sports videos) GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) International Club, Jazz Band, Jazz Lab Band, JSA (Junior Statesmen of America,) Math Team, Model UN, Parsons Street Players Club, Science Olympiad, Student Council, VAASA (Varsity Athletes Against Substance Abuse,) Weightlifting and Fitness and the Zephyr Art and Literary Magazine. And in terms of social services clubs: Aid for America, Breast Cancer Awareness, Meningitis, Mission for Girls, Food Allergy Awareness, Friends of Prajwala (to raise awareness about human trafficking), and Adopt a Soldier.
Among the upcoming events, two stand out. On September 30 there is a presentation on DWI Prevention. Mark Sterner returns to Rye to share a personal and deeply tragic story to teach a powerful lesson on the devastating results of drinking and driving. Part of his presentation includes the videotape made by his friends during a spring break trip, which ended moments before they crashed. Students will hear him speak during an assembly at school. Parents, guardians, and members of the community are invited to join in an evening presentation at 7:30 in the Auditorium. The event is co-sponsored by the Parents Organization and “Heard in Rye.”
Anthony Doerr, Pulitzer-Prize winning author of “All the Light We Cannot See,” will visit the high school November 1 from 7-8:30. This is exciting news for our community’s bookworms, as well as 10th and 11th graders as the novel was part of their summer reading assignment. Mr. Doerr will discuss the work that goes into building a narrative, bringing characters to life, and crafting an atmospheric and compelling tale.
And, as always, our high school thespians will be hard at work in rehearsals for what is sure to be an exciting production of “Inherit the Wind.” The play, which debuted in the 1950s, is a fictionalized account of the 1925 Scopes “Monkey” Trial in which a high school teacher in Tennessee was convicted for teaching Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. The performances are October 16 and 17.
Rye Middle School>
Although the complete list of middle school after-school clubs wasn’t finalized when this issue went to print, the preliminary list is an exciting start! It includes: RMS Color Guard, Guitar Club, Musical Auditions, Peer Coaching in Math, RMS Press, Robotics, Principal’s Council, Tech Club, Yearbook, and Photography Club.
Fall’s offering of modified sports includes: boys’ and girls’ cross-country, field hockey, football, boys’ and girls’ soccer and girls’ volleyball.
The newly and beautifully-renovated band room will be put to good use when our talented middle schoolers prepare to perform a musical rendition of “Alice in Wonderland.” The show will be performed at the Performing Arts Center on November 6 and 7.
One of the most noteworthy events across all elementary schools is the start of all-day kindergarten this month. Five full days will allow for more instructional time at an optimal pace, and thereby establishing a stronger academic foundation. Their weekly schedule will expand to include one art period, two music periods, one library period and two physical education periods. Kindergarten classes will also now be staffed with two full-time teaching assistants, instead of part-time teacher aides.
The school’s biggest fundraiser is also a community-wide favorite Halloween event. This year’s Scare Fair and Silent Auction promises to be better than ever with new attractions and exciting auction items. Save the date: Saturday, October 24.
The theme for last week’s annual book fair was monsters. Books were gobbled up in monstrous quantities.
New this year is a program called Morning Movement, which provides an organized and supervised early morning physical activity, allowing children to participate in some of their favorite games and expend some energy spent before the first bell. It is not part of the curriculum and parents will be required to pay.
In the Circus Arts program, all grades are given the opportunity to learn and participate in the circus arts, at the end of which is a 4th-grade performance for parents. The school also hosts a Family Reading Night in October and a week of educational, galactic fun called Star Lab, which will feature a pop-up planetarium and a week of planetary lessons.