APRIL 9, 2020
Dear Baker Families, 

As your head of school, I am acutely aware of the many ways that the pandemic is affecting our families, faculty and staff. I am grateful to those in our community who are serving in health care, retail, maintenance, construction and other front-line positions during this time. As the virus peaks in New York with expected peaks in Chicago later this month, I know there will be resulting hardships in our school community. I am further dismayed by the news that black Americans have disproportionate rates of infection, further highlighting the racial inequities within our city and country. This is another reminder that our collective commitment to building equitable and inclusive schools and communities is a life and death matter. 

The year of Baker’s founding, 1918, was the year of the Spanish flu epidemic. One hundred years later, we are grateful to be here and continuing to be responsive in the face of our changing world. In times such as these, our history and the challenges that our ancestors and predecessors faced buoys our courage and inspires hope for the future. This is a formative time in our children’s lives and our goal is to serve as one of the many ‘protective factors’ ensuring their wellbeing at this time. 

This week’s bulletin features families and teachers in our community who are making masks for friends, family members and local medical professionals as well as a glimpse into some student work, including work from our Artists as Activists arts core class featured above. I hope these features continue to help you stay connected to our amazing community while we are physically apart. 

I would like to wish a Happy Passover and Happy Easter for all who celebrate. May the traditions that you hold dear serve as a comfort during this time.

Carly Andrews
Head of School

P.S. There is no school on Friday, April 10. However, school is in session on Monday, April 13. This was formerly scheduled as an Institute Day that will be rescheduled for later this spring.
Baker Makes Masks for Local Community
Baker teachers Becky Crawford and Sarah Sklare, three Baker seventh graders (and their parents) and Baker alum, Michael LeMasters (‘18) and his dad have all been working hard to make masks to support the local community. Like any good design-thinking challenge, each maker has been developing prototypes, iterating on materials and processes and reaching out to local experts for advice. 

Ms. Crawford has been developing her ideas with Michael and Matt LeMasters using 3D printers and explains, “I have friends who work in hospitals, doctor's offices, radiology labs, emergency rooms, and more. It breaks my heart that they are still not getting all the supplies they need to keep themselves safe. I joined a bunch of user groups and found that makers all over the world are doing this and sharing their experiences and designs. It feels so great to be a part of this huge movement.” Read the rest of the article on the blog>>>
New Podcast Episode featuring Baker Teachers!
On Episode 5, Jordan Grumet and Carly Andrews are joined by  Andrew Marikis , Drama teacher,  Rachael Chase , middle school Physical Education teacher, and  Sarah Mohr , 5th grade Math and Science teacher, in a conversation about progressive teaching and learning in a virtual environment. Their discussion includes ways they are adapting their experiential, hands-on curriculum to a virtual environment, adaptive technology supporting this process, and ways we are reimagining schooling at this time. Listen to The Coronavirus: Teaching and Learning in a Virtual School on iTunes , Spotify , Stitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts!
Virtual Documentary Screening Event - April 17
What: Punch 9 for Harold Washington screening and talk-back with producer, Julie Englander

When: Friday, April 17 @ 8:00 p.m.

Where: Zoom

Who: Baker parents (middle school students or
older are welcome too)

How: email Rachel Yantis to register

The documentary is about Harold Washington, Chicago's first African-American mayor. We will screen about an hour of the film and then Julie will answer questions about this film and documentary filmmaking more generally. Tickets are $25 (per household) and proceeds will continue to support fundraising efforts to meet Baker's benefit goal. All participants will receive a link to join the event via email .
Grandparents' & Special Friends' Day - May 8
While we won't be able to host Grandparents' and Special Friends' Day in person the way we all would want, we do still have plans! On Friday, May 8, we will share a special email with parents and with our grandparent list. The email is meant to be a glimpse into our 2019-2020 school year and will feature videos, special music, and photos representing as many special moments as possible.

Of course, we encourage our students to take the opportunity to make cards or send photos and videos of their own to the special people in their lives. But, as a school community, we also want to be sure we let our grandparents and special friends know we are thinking about them!
First Grade Orinthologists & Birthday Magic
First grade students have become ornithologists and are learning about how birds meet their needs to survive. This week they are learning about the external body parts of birds and how bird's beaks have adapted to meet their needs. They are also becoming bird counters from our living room windows. Children have been inspired in their play to build nests or create bird feeders at home.
Ms. Makagon attended a seven year old Baker student's birthday via Zoom this week. The student practiced and performed a wonderful magic show for his friends that was filled with all of the pitter patter that a magician needs to distract the audience. He was even wearing a tux and top hat. The children who were viewing virtually oohed and awed at the tricks. This shows that even during the pandemic, Baker families find a way to celebrate birthdays and continue our community bonding.
Artists as Activists
Middle school students in Ms. Toole's Artists as Activists arts core class were given the assignment to develop micro-affirmations and how they could use their art to bring hope and joy during this time.

Instagram Spirit Day each Friday in April

Let's have a little fun on Instagram!
We will post a new prompt each Thursday in the bulletin and on Instagram. Be sure to tag us:


If you aren't on Instagram but want to participate, email photos to Rachel Yantis.

Our prompt for tomorrow, April 10, is GAME DAY!
Student Photo of the Week
by Amani, Grade 7