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Barnyard Update: New Turkeys and Chickens

Date: 
Thursday, August 30, 2018

Turkey #1

Turkey #2

Recently caretaker Ali Shepard ’04 brought some new animals to join the herd in Burgundy’s barnyard. There are three turkeys—two females, one male, all Narragansett turkeys, a heritage breed. One of the females hatched with deformed toes and slight head bob; the other female has been a companion for her. Ali also added two new hens; they are Golden Laced Wyandotte and Black Sex Link varieties. Ali reports everyone is settling in fine and she expects visitors to the barnyard will enjoy the beautiful new look these fowl bring as well as the new sounds from the turkeys. For a short time last fall, Burgundy hosted a rescue turkey named Blossom, but she was unable to live outdoors and returned to a previous owner.

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Happy Graduation, Happy Summer!

Date: 
Friday, June 8, 2018

Thursday evening we held our 8th Grade Graduation in the Gym. As always, it was incredible!

Burgundy's graduations feature the graduating 8th graders; a very small portion of the ceremonies are adults speaking! The program for the graduation each year is designed by the graduating 8th graders themselves, with a minimum of facilitative help from their teachers and the ‘bones’ of the traditions carried forward from previous graduations. The graduation typically consists of speeches and musical and artistic performances by the students, along with an opening video, with a skit or song from advisors, comments from the Middle School Head and short remarks from the Head. As a result, each year's graduation manifests the particular character and talents of that class. They typically run, including a lengthy but poignant processional and video, less than 80 minutes and are superbly entertaining and most of all, beautifully reflective of the Burgundy mission and spirit!

Last night, the students expressed their strong connections to Burgundy and sense of Burgundy as a second home, their respect and affection for one another, and their appreciation for their teachers and parents who have helped them become the people they are today. Very moving, and sprinkled among a set of dazzling musical performances.

In my own brief remarks, I spoke about the ‘gift of time’ children receive at Burgundy. It is a gift that is patient and respectful of children’s developmental variety and needs. It is the crux of the student-teacher relationships. And it makes all the difference!

We wish the best to the Class of 2018! We will miss them. But we know they're going to continue to be amazing people in high school and beyond!

This morning, with the now graduated 8th graders on a class outing to King's Dominion, we gathered the rising K-8 students and faculty in the Gym to celebrate the close of another school year. With thunderous cheers we 'installed' the rising 8th graders as the new student leaders of the school, and we honored each class's 'graduation' to the next class. We also offered heartfelt farewells to departing teachers and staff before Assistant Head of School Elizabeth Lener and Cathy Manley led us in song.

Thank you for all of your support this year! And thank you today and always to the Burgundy teachers and staff for the incredible amount of work they have put in and for the love they've afforded our students.

It has been a great last week of school, capping off a great year. Next week, while teachers and administrators wrap up with faculty work week, there will be an exciting Gap Camp. The following week, Elizabeth and many teachers will continue work to plan improvements to our curriculum. Many of our staff will be on campus working much of the summer, please say hello if you're around!

We hope to see many familiar faces at Gap Camp, Summer Day Camp, or BCWS Camp! Regardless of your summer plans, have a wonderful summer!

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Congratulations, Class of 2018!

Date: 
Thursday, June 7, 2018

Class of 2018

On Thursday, June 7, Burgundy celebrates the graduation of the 8th grade Class of 2018. The graduation ceremony is a student-directed event, and each member of the class will play a role.

After their time at Burgundy, these young alumni plan to attend a variety of independent and public high schools:

  • Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School
  • Bishop O'Connell High School
  • Collège du Léman (Switzerland)
  • Edmund Burke School
  • Episcopal High School
  • Flint Hill School
  • Georgetown Day School
  • Gonzaga College High School
  • Justice High School
  • Madeira School
  • Maret School
  • McDonough High School (Maryland)
  • National Cathedral School
  • Ponte Vedra High School (Florida)
  • Rock Ridge High School
  • Sidwell Friends School
  • St. Andrew's School (Delaware)
  • St. George's Independent School (Tennessee)
  • St. Paul's School (New Hampshire)
  • St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School
  • T.C. Williams High School
  • Thomas Edison High School
  • West Potomac High School

Approaching Graduation and Celebrating Growth for All Students!

Date: 
Friday, June 1, 2018

Earlier this week I had the great joy of visiting the new Gold Frogger Airlines (parent company K Frogs) at the West Barn Early Childhood building. One K Frogs student was manning the phone at the reservation desk; another seemed to be collecting luggage (real, vintage American Tourister upright suitcases); and yet another two Frogs were warming up the jet for take-off. The students had invented and constructed the entire thing.

Last week I’d been watching some of them starting the ‘EC tarmac’ with large pieces of corrugated cardboard framing the jet, with only occasional check-ins from a teacher. And now I was seeing them animating their creations, again free of interference from tall people. Seeing children’s imaginations in action is as about as entertaining and rewarding as anything one can, well, imagine.

Wednesday I had the pleasure of stopping by the first grade classrooms. They had been preparing for their dramatic productions, which were put on under the expert direction of Roberta Cullen, on the big stage in The Logan Loft. After the performances, they shared looms and weavings they had created, and books they had written and illustrated. The great thing about the first graders’ books is that they’re handcrafted and self-illustrated and developmentally at whatever levels of literacy the children happen to be at, and they’re made to feel great about their creations, because 1) they are awesome and lovely (and sometimes hilarious) to look at and read; and 2) they are so authentic and the kids are so proud of their work.

One of the greatest gifts of Burgundy is sustaining the love of learning that children are born with — a love of learning that too often is tamped down or extinguished by weighty structures and adult expectations. Burgundy preserves the wonder and the adventure of learning. Credit the teachers in our JK, Kindergarten, and first grade who work so hard: to establish the community that supports children being respected and connected and feeling good about themselves and free and available for learning, and to ensure that learning remains a thrilling and enticing enterprise!

Taking reservations
Checking in Gold Frogger Airlines passengers. Photos by Jeff Sindler.
Taking reservations
Taking reservations

 

The jet
Fueling the jet

 

 

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Annual Giving's June 30 Deadline Approaching!

Date: 
Friday, June 1, 2018

Annual Giving

Burgundy’s current fiscal year ends June 30. Please make a gift to the Annual Giving Fund or fulfill your pledge by this date. Annual Giving provides critical support to Burgundy's operating budget for the fiscal year, contributing to the budget for professional development, program and instruction, and financial aid. Donations make a difference for every single student and family at Burgundy. Show your support for our community with a gift today!

Give Now!

Questions about giving? Please contact Michele McCabe, Advancement and Annual Giving Coordinator, at michelem@burgundyfarm.org.

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Annual Giving Update: Let's Be ALL IN for Burgundy!

Date: 
Friday, May 25, 2018

Annual Giving ​and fundraising at independent schools including Burgundy​ comprise a vital part of schools' annual operational budgets​. At Burgundy, Annual Giving provides critical monies t​hat directly impact our children's experience, from professional development opportunities for ​teachers ​to the financial aid ​that supports 25% of our student population​!

According to data from the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington, ​the average current parent participation rate in annual giving for area independent schools​ is 73.8%. Right now, we’re at 55%​​ — and we know we have more gifts coming​! As a school community we pride ourselves on being ​so much more than average, so we hope to reach — or even exceed! — this area average. Can we get to 75% participation as a whole? Can your class reach 100% participation? It is within reach! We’ve seen 90% participation in the past.

We hope you will join other families and be ALL IN! ​Remember: all gifts, no matter the size, count toward participation for each of your children’s classes and for our overall participation goal. Now is the time to give, before our fiscal year ends June 30.

Our budgeted financial goal for this year is $250,000. To date, we've raised $178,000 toward this goal. Right now 55% of current families are participating with a gift or pledge to Annual Giving. Specific class participation rates are detailed in the chart below. With 100% parent participation, we’re optimistic that we could eclipse our budgeted goal!

AG Class Participation

*8th grade is also fundraising for their Class of 2018 legacy gift to Burgundy.

Help us be above average for current parent participation for Annual Giving. It's all about ​demonstrating that year-in and year-out, we believe in what Burgundy is and stands for. Annual giving support says “This is our school, we believe in it, and we want it to thrive!” Every gift counts. YOUR gift counts! Thank you!

Give Now!

Questions about giving? Please contact Michele McCabe, Advancement and Annual Giving Coordinator, at michelem@burgundyfarm.org.

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Annual Giving Supports Cove Trips

Date: 
Friday, May 18, 2018
Cove bridge
Buckeyes working together on an assignment at the Cove. Photo by Joanne Petty.

This is the time of the year when classes make their spring journey to the Cove. This experience is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the natural world — in our own outdoor laboratory!

Annual Giving helps to support the wealth of opportunities our curriculum offers students at the Cove. Funding helps to maintain Cove facilities and more. The bus that gets students and chaperones to and from Burgundy is an important part of the experience and it too is funded by donations to Annual Giving.

If you've already made an Annual Giving donation, thank you! If you have not made a gift or would like to make an additional gift, please consider doing so today to support Cove trips,  professional development, classroom budgets, and so much more! All gifts, no matter the size, help us to reach our goal and are greatly appreciated.

Give Now!

Questions about giving? Please contact Michele McCabe, Advancement and Annual Giving Coordinator, at michelem@burgundyfarm.org.

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A Special All School Meeting

Date: 
Friday, May 4, 2018

Announcement video

Some of the Deep Creek Middle School students on stage.

This morning at a special All School Meeting in the amphitheater, second grader Anna M. announced the name caretaker Ali Shepard ’04 has chosen for Poppy’s foal, born in the barn last week. We’ll call the filly Topaz! The Burgundy community offered a lot of suggestions, and the idea of “Topaz” came from Melissa Koval, parent of 8th grader Rowan Smith. In the announcement, Anna explained “Topaz is a gemstone and she’s our little gem!” The opportunity to announce the foal’s name was an auction item this year.

Earlier at the meeting, visiting students from Deep Creek Middle School shared a musical presentation with a poem, a song, and a rap celebrating the connection and friendship between the school and Burgundy. Deep Creek is an independent school on the Bahamian island of Eleuthera, also home to the Island School. Every other spring, 7th and 8th graders from Burgundy visit the Island School for a week and in turn host Deep Creek students.

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Thinking About Tinkering: Donations Requested for Makerspace(s)

Date: 
Friday, May 4, 2018

Art teachers Mary Iannone and Annie Rocha recently attended a STEAM conference (focused on the integration of science, technology, engineering, art, and math) at the National Cathedral School to help gain knowledge for our Makerspace program for the coming school year. Gifts to Annual Giving help make professional development opportunities like this possible. At the conference, Mary and Annie networked with a variety of teachers from many different grade levels and subject areas, and even met a few teachers that pioneered the program for the Makerspaces in their own schools. They came away with some interesting ways to integrate math, science, and technology in the art room, including learning aspects of simulated interior design, watching kids working in a "tinkerlab" taking apart old electronics, creating miniature robots with computer programming tools, and observing a project made with a laser cutter for a collaborative history project focused on civil rights.

Although we will be integrating technology and tools into our makerspace, Mary and Annie learned that it is also important to have access to a variety of hand tools, recycled materials, and old unneeded electronics. We will begin collecting these materials now as well as over the summer to help supply the room for the new school year. Here is a list of what we need:

  • Tools: hammers, screwdrivers, drills, scrap wood, hand saws, sanders/sandpaper, pliers, tweezers
  • Recycled materials: baby food jars, toilet paper/paper towel rolls, cardboard boxes, styrofoam (pretty much anything that can be recycled and is usable — similar materials as needed for junk art)
  • Any and all electronics that can be taken apart to observe and learn from.

These donated materials can be brought to the Makerspace room downstairs in The Logan Loft. Thank you in advance!

We also are still eager for donors who can help us staff The Logan Loft Makerspace as well as the Wonderlab for JK-1st grade students. For more information, please contact Michele McCabe at michelem@burgundyfarm.org.

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Supporting Our Barnyard Friends through Annual Giving

Date: 
Friday, May 4, 2018

LuluSpringtime is a time for new growth, and that’s been even more apparent in the Burgundy barnyard recently with the birth of Poppy’s foal! A few weeks ago, we didn’t know when the foal would be born or what color she would be. But a year ago, we didn’t know we would have the opportunity to rescue a pregnant Poppy and bring her to Burgundy. Annual Giving helps to support the wealth of opportunities our curriculum offers all our students, including the care of animals and the maintenance of the barnyard. And even more importantly, Annual Giving helps Burgundy cover unexpected costs that might be outside our planned budget, like a foal birthing kit and an extra visit from the vet. Donations to Annual Giving help us take advantage of timely opportunities and cover urgent needs that arise during the year.

If you've already made an Annual Giving donation, thank you! If you have not made a gift or would like to make an additional gift, please consider doing so today to support classroom budgets and so much more! This year’s budgeted goal is $250,000. Currently we have raised $163,000 with 47% of current families participating. All gifts, no matter the size, help us to reach our goal and are greatly appreciated.

Give Now!

Questions about giving? Please contact Michele McCabe, Advancement and Annual Giving Coordinator, at michelem@burgundyfarm.org.

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