Roycemore School

Roycemore Weekly Newsletter November 6, 2018

This Week's Calendar



Thursday, Nov. 8: Middle School Potluck, 5:30-8 p.m. (sign up here)

Tuesday, Nov. 13: Grandparents Social Event, 6-7:30 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 15: Family Reading Night, 4-6 p.m. (sign up here)

Friday, Nov. 16: The Little Mermaid Musical, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 17: The Little Mermaid Musical, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 20: Grandparents and Special Friends Day (sign up here)

Monday, Nov. 26: Robert Eisner Scholarship application deadline

Saturday, Dec. 1: Robert Eisner Scholarship examination


This Week in Sports



Upper School Boys Basketball: Daily practice before school. See details below!

Cross Country: Wednesday, Nov. 7, 3:15-4 p.m., Grade 3 Classroom



From the Head of School

How can we keep from going numb?

By Adrianne Finley Odell


I was scrolling through my Twitter feed Friday night to see that just four hours earlier there was “breaking news” of a shooting at a yoga studio in Tallahassee, Florida. This is a town I know. I moved to Chicago from St. Petersburg, Florida, just over a year ago. Even though Tallahassee was a seven-hour drive away from St. Petersburg, we made the drive several times during the years I lived in Florida because the city played host to the state high school cross country championship races that my school participated in. Tallahassee is also the home of Florida State University, a university that a number of our students matriculated to. Yoga—Shooting. Those words seem to be polar opposites to me. Don’t they to you? My head doesn’t seem to register the news—three dead (including the gunman), and even more injured.


The local 10 o’clock news is playing on the television in the background in the other room. I listen as the program begins, expecting that this might be a lead news story. I never even hear the Tallahassee shooting covered. I turn the channel to CNN—nope, nothing there either. Huh? Wait. Is this not headline news anymore? In the local Chicago news, we have news of shootings almost daily. How is this okay? To add to this, just over a week ago there was the shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue—a SYNAGOGUE! And this shooting took place on the heels of pipe bombs being sent to public figures around the country. What?


One of our Roycemore administrators asked in a team meeting last week whether we should be publicly addressing what’s happening in our country. Her question came after her discussion with a faculty member who asked if we should be offering words of support to our students and families concerning what’s happening in our country. YES! I think! And then, No! I don’t know... I’m angry. I am sad. I am disgusted. Maybe you are, too? When acts of violence start to become commonplace, it seems to me that the main concern to address goes beyond the specific incident. Let’s focus on the fact that violence has become commonplace. Otherwise, our words become a drip, drip, drip of words that, at some point, will have no meaning at all. What should we do when everything that happens, everything that is said, gets twisted into a political issue?


I feel that our leaders let our children and country down after Sandy Hook: nothing happened. We had a chance in the shock of that mass shooting to change course. Do you remember? Here’s the reminder: nearly six years ago, on December 14, 2012, a 20-year-old gunman killed TWENTY children between six- and seven-years-old along with six adults at a school in Newtown, Connecticut. To let the weight of this action sink in, come visit our first grade classroom at Roycemore, brimming with thirteen beautiful, magical, joyful, engaging, and intellectually curious six- and seven-year-olds. Today, those very children at Sandy Hook Elementary would be in 7th grade. Sobering. What have we done since then as a nation to change course to protect our children? Not much—new lockdown procedures, more security guards, locking our buildings. These changes don’t seem to matter. Just over five years after Sandy Hook, a gunman murdered seventeen students and faculty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Sadly, there have been many-—MANY—mass shootings in-between these two assaults. Shootings have become so frequent that it’s easy to lose track. So, how can we keep from going numb?


I know that if I allow myself to think, to truly feel my raw feelings related to these realities, tears aren’t far away. Perhaps we are all experiencing a bit of PTSD from the society we have created. What do we do? I believe in fostering an environment at Roycemore where students feel safe to explore their feelings, to ask questions, and to engage in dialogue about the world they live in—of course, in age-appropriate ways and contexts recognizing we are a school that has children ranging in ages from three to 18, and all within one building. Moreover, I urge each person (whether a student, faculty, parent, alumni, or community member) to individually do what they feel compelled to do to support a world of love, respect, and empathy—whether that includes getting involved politically or making a difference another way.


This is my personal commitment to fight against the potential for feeling numb: to be proactive, to focus on the positive, to remain civil, and to maintain respect for those who have various political leanings:


  1. I will do all I can to fiercely protect the beauty, the innocence, and the magic of childhood. I want the children at Roycemore to feel safe, supported, and loved more than they could be loved anywhere else outside of their family. I want our school to be that second home, the extended family for our students. When they are safe, they can learn. When they can learn, they can reach their true potential. When they can reach their true potential, they can leverage their critical thinking, problem solving, creative, and team building skills to solve the challenging problems that my generation has NOT been able to solve. We must love them to their greatness—this is our calling! And this is the environment that our Roycemore teachers espouse every day.


  1. I will continue to foster the safe, supportive environment of Roycemore by encouraging our faculty to develop meaningful relationships with students to help them find their voice. Their voice might be one that gathers fellow students together for a national school walkout against gun violence, as Sophomore Cara M. did last year, or it might address the critical issues of sexual harassment and assault, as Alex C. did earlier this year. Their voice could even be one of inspired artistic expression, such as Hahrim C’s Korean drumming (click to view mini documentary video) or Daria C’s violin performance (click to view Young Steinway Concert Series video).


When our students embrace who they are and what they are passionate about, they remind us all to embrace our own purpose. When we are full of purpose, I promise you, it is impossible to feel numb.



Adrianne Finley Odell Signature

Griff-ing Around...

Photographer Jordan Matter Visits Roycemore!

This past week, Jordan Matter delivered an incredible message of inspiration, empowerment, acceptance, and differentiation to Roycemore students. After speaking to 2nd to 12th grade students about his life and career as a photographer who works with dancers of all ages, he spent time watching, talking, and photographing our tumblers as they performed a short program! Jordan was so inspired by the stories about our school and students that he’s planning to visit Roycemore again to create a photo essay about us!


Adobe Collaboration

The 7th graders recently created "juxtaposition posters" as part of a study of setting. These students used text and images to juxtapose a setting from their life with one from The Outsiders. They chose either a similar setting that evoked a different emotion or a different setting that evoked a similar emotion. And, of course, the students then used Adobe Spark to design their juxtaposition setting posters!


Grant Awarded for Inquiry-Based Learning

Last year Roycemore was awarded a Library Book Selection Service (LBSS) grant for $1,500 from the Association of Illinois School Library Educators (AISLE). The grant was awarded to Roycemore to purchase nonfiction books connected with the curriculum. The new project is called the Middle School Guided Inquiry Project.


Denise Wirth, the former librarian, Amy Milner, Howard Stanley, Lynne Green, and Ron Tain worked together to teach middle school students how to incorporate authentic research skills into their learning. The grant purchased 90 nonfiction books that were used throughout the year. These books continue to be popular with both students and faculty! 


Over this past weekend, our new librarian, Karrie Fisher, presented our Middle School Guided Inquiry Project at the AISLE conference for school librarians. The project was well received by session attendees and members of the grant committee. Way to go, Karrie!


Basketball Season Has Begun!

Basketball season is upon us, and it's not too late to join the team! Practices have started this week, meeting mornings before school. See the calendar for more details and be sure to check in with Coach Jones! Roycemore has a no cut policy for athletics, and all are welcome. If you want to play, we want to have you! Stop by the gym before 8:15 a.m. and join!


Community Happenings

RFA Happenings

Middle School Potluck

Griffin Gathering: Middle School Potluck and Game Night

Thursday, Nov. 8, 5:30-8 p.m.


Roycemore’s gym will be open and games will be available. Shoot hoops, play board games, or just hang out with one another after eating. We are also hoping to have a Trivia contest.


Please sign up and bring something to share. Appetizers, meals, drinks (non-alcoholic), desserts, paper goods...whatever you're able to bring!


Family Reading Night

Thursday, Nov. 15, 4-6 p.m.


The Illinois State Museum and the Roycemore Library are partnering to bring you a wonderful evening of reading with your family on Thursday Nov. 15, from 4 to 6 p.m. This evening of reading is designed to offer families the opportunity to explore the Roycemore Library, picking out books from the collection and reading together as a family. All families are welcome to this open house-style event. View the flyer.


Free Community Yoga

Free Community Yoga at Roycemore School

Thursdays, 5-6 p.m.


We are thrilled to partner with Phoenix Yoga Project to offer free yoga classes every Thursday at 5:00 p.m. Founded by Roycemore alumnus and trustee, Scott Kinsloe, Phoenix Yoga Project offers free yoga to bring people together. Spread the word that everyone is welcome to join our community for this weekly class!

Grandparents and Special Friends Day!

Grandparents and Special Friends Day!

Tuesday, Nov. 20, 8:30–11:00 a.m.


All are welcome, whether your student is just entering pre-kindergarten or getting ready to graduate! The morning will include delicious treats and coffee, musical performances featuring all grades, and special time in the classroom just for you!


Register here.


College Admissions Season is Underway

Roycemore believes that finding one’s eventual best-fit college is a process of discovery and self-awareness. We are here to help you navigate the application process!


Our Recommended Timeline for the College Application Process is designed for all Upper School Griffins. Download and consult this resource, bookmark Coordinator of College Counseling Stacia Campbell’s blog, and reach out to with any questions! Seven colleges will be coming to meet our juniors and seniors in person.

Seeking Volunteers!

Admissions Mornings

Tuesday, Dec. 4, 8:30–10 a.m.


Volunteers needed for Admissions Mornings! There is only one more Admissions Morning left this year, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 8:30–10 a.m., and we want to make it count. During these mornings, prospective parents join us for coffee, visit classes, and speak with administrators, faculty, current students, and parents. If you are interested in becoming an Admissions Ambassador, contact Director of Admissions Amanda Avery at


Roycemore Spirit Wear

Be a proud Griffin and visit our online store for spirit wear!


Northwestern Diversity & Inclusion and Public Events

Northwestern University encourages community members to take part in community and diversity and inclusion events so that we may increase our cultural competency and understanding. NU is a vibrant place with numerous ways for everyone in the community to learn and participate. So don't be shy—embrace your neighbor and show up in the community! Visit the Upcoming Events to increase your cultural competency and support your professional development.


Want more? Visit the November Monthly Calendar for details on concerts, lectures, and athletic events—there is always something going on.


A New Season of FAN talks!

Grand Rounds Presentation


Self-Driven: Why a Sense of Control is So Important for Children and Teens

Tuesday, Nov. 13, 9-10:30 a.m.

New Trier High School/Northfield, Cornog Auditorium, 7 Happ Rd., Northfield


1.5 CEU hours awarded for registered clinicians. A free copy of The Self-Driven Child will be given to each registered clinician, courtesy of Compass Health Center. Register here.


The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives

Tuesday, Nov. 13, 7 p.m.

New Trier High School/Northfield, Cornog Auditorium, 7 Happ Rd., Northfield



“Self-Driven: Why a Sense of Control is So Important for Children and Teens”

By William Stixrud, Ph.D., and Ned Johnson 


Dr. Stixrud is a clinical neuropsychologist and founder of The Stixrud Group, a lifespan neuropsychology practice, is an adjunct faculty member of the Children's National Medical Center, and is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Pedicatrics, The George Washington University School of Medicine.


Mr. Johnson is an author, speaker, and founder of PrepMatters, an educational company.


*Both events on November 13 will be recorded. View flyer.


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Roycemore School

Roycemore School
1200 Davis Street - Evanston, Illinois 60201
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