Roycemore School

Roycemore Weekly Newsletter February 19, 2019

From the Head of School
From the Head of School



What Just Happppeeeeeened? 

- By Adrianne Finley Odell

It's a guilty pleasure of mine.  I don’t watch much television, but I do like to watch America’s Got Talent, when it works out in my schedule.  I love seeing individuals reaching their full potential and stretching the limits of what’s possible. Whether it is AGT or Roycemore’s variety show, it gives me goosebumps when I witness excellence.  It inspires me to dig deeper and wonder what’s possible. One of the judges on AGT for a number of seasons was Mel B. She is known for some of her over-the-top reactions to particularly extraordinary acts and for yelling out, “What Just Happeeeeened?”  Her reaction is entirely appropriate for some of the acts that you see on AGT.  It is also a reaction that is entirely appropriate for some of the cultural changes that we are experiencing in our world today.  

In the book iGen:  Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy--and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood, Jean Twenge lays out a case for naming the generation that follows the Millennials, iGen (rather than “Gen Z” as has been used in some circles).  Born beginning 1995 (the year the Internet was born) and with an estimated end year between 2009 and 2015, Twenge argues that iGen-ers are 1. In less of a hurry to grow up; 2. Spend a significant amount of free time online; 3. Are more socially connected virtually rather than IRL (in real life); 4. Are more anxious, stressed and depressed than Millennials; 5. Affiliate less with religion and spirituality than Millennials; 6. Are more inclusive, expecting equality regardless of race, gender, sexual identity, or other differences; 7. Are more risk-averse than prior generations; 8.  Are exceedingly cautious about engaging in serious romantic relationships requiring commitment; 9. And are less likely to identify with a specific political party.

For the Baby Boom or GenX generations, the differences in the iGen generation are dramatic.  A reflection of those changes could even cause us to call out, like Mel B, “What just happeeeeened?”  Twenge says, “Cultural change has many causes, not just one--it’s not just parents, but technology, media, business and education working together to create an entire culture that is radically different from the one our parents and grandparents experienced.”  One might say, but how is this different from the changes other generations have experienced? And you could make a case there. But a key difference is in the dramatically rapid pace of change, and in the aspects of those changes that could have serious unintended consequences for our world.  While there are some aspects of the iGen culture that are positive, such as the focus on inclusivity, the ramifications of some of the other key cultural components of iGen leave cause for concern, such as:

  • Online lives taking on greater importance than real ones.

  • An unprecedented increase in the rates of depression and anxiety among young people.

  • A rapid decline in the amount of reading and in-person social activities by young people, combined with a rapid increase in the amount of time spent online.

  • A reluctance to embrace the responsibilities that typically are associated with independence and adulthood at ages that were the norm even during the GenX and Millennial generations.

Twenge spent a great deal of time researching the timing of the rapid changes she noticed and found that it coincided with the time that the majority of cell phones in the United States were smartphones-- phones connected to the Internet.  While unable to directly implicate the smartphone, the evidence was significant and staggering. The smartphone, with all of the positive opportunities it brings, has ushered in a new reality for the lives of young people and, as Twenge points out, has an especially profound impact on the lives of young teens.  

Knowing that the smartphone is not going away and that rather versions of it, including wearable technology, are already becoming ubiquitous, how might we respond?  What implications does this have for K-12 schools and even colleges? And how can we help young people navigate a world/ a culture that is radically different from the experience of young people just a few years ago?  These are topics that we should be addressing as a school in collaboration with faculty, parents and students. Twenge suggests that parents consider the following as starting points:

  • Put off giving your child a cell phone as long as possible, and when you do, consider making it a phone without Internet connectivity.

  • If you and your family use a smartphone for an alarm clock, switch to a regular alarm clock and move phones out of bedrooms.

  • Consider employing a screen time app to become more aware of the amount of screen time your children have.  Limiting screen time to an hour a day can support your child building social connections through more traditional means, which research shows leads to less depression and anxiety.

  • If your children were restricted to using one social media platform, make it Snapchat or forums that allow for posts that are not meant to be seen by large audiences and that have limited lifespans.

No doubt there is much more to learn about the impact that our hyper-connected world is having on all of us, both in positive and not-so-positive ways.  We all benefit, however, by being more thoughtful about how we choose to use technology, and how we approach the use of technology with our children.

Coming Up On The Calendar

- Thursday, February 21st - FAN Presentation by Yong Zhao, "Reach for Greatness", New Trier High School, 7pm (Read More Here)
- Friday, February 22nd - Upper School Play, Slaughterhouse 5, 7:00pm
- Saturday, February 23rd - Upper School Play, 3:00pm 
(Due to strong language and themes, the Upper School Play is recommended for Middle School students and older.
- Friday, March 1st - NO SCHOOL For Lower School and Middle School, Conference Day  (EDP is available)
- Friday, March 1st - Re-enrollment / Financial Aid Deadline: Returning families must apply by this date to receive priority enrollment and financial aid consideration.

Re-Enrollment Is Open!
Re-Enrollment Deadline Approaching!

Calling all current families!  Now is the time to complete your re-enrollment forms.  All current families have been sent re-enrollment information and forms must be submited by March 1st in order to secure your spot for next year.  Please be aware that discounts are available for families who take advantage of our Advanced Payment options.   For questions about re-enrollment, please contact Tanise Robnett

Community Happenings

Roycemore is proud to be a sponsor for the upcoming FAN discussion with Yong Zhao, "Education In the Age of Smart Machines".  Thursday, February 21st, 7:00pm at Cornog Auditorium at New Trier High School (Northfield, IL).  Free and open to the public.  PD available for educators.  Pre-registration is not required.   

This Week In Sports


As Winter turns into Spring, we want to step back and thank all of our Griffin Athletes.  Basketball season is winding down and the coaches want to thank all the students who put in many hours of practice and preparation to make our seasons a success.  We are so proud of our students and coaches.....GO GRIFFINS!!!


Three Cheers

This week, Sophmore Ephraim Zimmerman, met with Roycemore’s Senior Administrative team for a trial presentation featuring a new app he is developing.  The app focuses on security and making real time communication during an emergency quick, concise and accurate.  His app will help disseminate critical information across a broad population on a mid- to large-sized campus environment.  Once he is done developing and testing the app, the next step will be to pitch it to the IT and Security departments at Northwestern University.  Good luck Ephraim!

Did You Know?

The Roycemore Media Center and Library has a website that puts amazing resources right at your fingertips!  Check out all the valuable information available to the Roycemore community such as an online card catalog, ebooks, events information, research tools, book lists, recommendations, great websites for kids, and more!  Plus, be sure to check out Librarian Karrie Fisher's Books of the Month for February:


The Wonkey Donkey by Craig Smith (Early Childhood)

The Terrible Two by Jory John and Mac Barnett (Lower School)

Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt (Middle School) 

Thunder Head by Neal Shusterman (Upper School)


The Arts at Roycemore

Join us for the Upper School's Spring Production of Slaughterhouse Five, based on the novel by Kurt Vonnegut and adapted by Eric Simonson.  There will be two showings for family and friends: 

- Friday, February 22nd at 7:00pm
- Saturday, February 23rd at 3:00pm


Note: Due to strong language and themes, this production is recommended for Middle School students and older. 



Save The Date

Scholarship Dinner and Auction

Join us for this year's Roycemore's Scholarship Dinner and Auction on Saturday, April 27th.  For more information, please contact Sara McGuire at

How Many Griffins Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb?

Answer: All of us!

Roycemore School will change over from fluorescent light bulbs to LED light bulbs. This will help us save approximately 242,149 kWh in energy annually!  We need all hands on deck for this quick community change over, with jobs for all ages!  Please join students, parents, faculty and friends as we take another step toward making our building more environmentally and economically efficient.

Sunday, March 10, 2019
12:00 - 4:00 pm 
Daylight Saving Day! 

Sponsored by Mrs. Bixby's Sustainability class and the Facilities Committee of the Board of Trustees.

Support Roycemore
We are ALL IN!

Roycemore Faculty have reached 100% participation in the Griffin Fund for the second year running! This means everyone, our entire administrative team, our faculty, and every single person employed by Roycemore School has made a contribution toward the success of our mission - the incredible students we get to teach, nurture, and champion every day. If you have not yet made your contribution to the Griffin Fund - now is a good time to join this winning team! Volunteers will be reaching out on February 26th for our late winter phonathon, to talk with you about the fund, this team, and Roycemore!  

Adobe Partnership

Roycemore's partnership with Adobe continues to grow and strengthen throughout the course of the school year.  Students of all ages are able to utilize amazing resources that are part of the Adobe Creative Cloud. Our teachers and students have been using Adobe Spark, a free online and mobile graphic design app, to enhance the learning experience at Roycemore.  This video, created using Adobe Spark, is a pronunciation tool made by and for our Kindergarten students who are learning the French alphabet.  



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1200 Davis Street - Evanston, Illinois 60201
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