Roycemore School

Roycemore Weekly Newsletter September 25, 2018

Special Announcement

Congratulations to Thomas C. Ellis!

We are thrilled to announce that Roycemore Senior Thomas C. Ellis has been designated as a Commended Student in the National Merit Scholarship Program. His high Selection Index score places him among the top 50,000 of over 1.6 million students who entered the 2019 National Merit Program by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). Thomas is among approximately 34,0000 Commended Students nationawide who have shown exceptional adcademic promise. Congratulations Thomas!

This Week's Calendar


Mon-Tues. Sept. 24-25- Middle School overnight trip to Indiana Dunes

Mon. Sept. 24- Mandatory college admissions meeting for Sophomores, activity period

Week of Sept. 24- Lower School Leadership Week

Wed. Sept. 26- What School Could Be  book discussion on the book by the same name (details below), 5:00 pm

Thur. Sept. 27- FREE Yoga (every Thursday) through Phoenix Yoga Project, 5:00 pm

Thur. Sept. 27- College night for Juniors and families, mandatory, 6:00-7:00 pm

Fri. Sept. 28- Mandatory college admissions meeting for Freshman, activity period

Sun. Sept 30- Bike the Ridge

Tues. Oct. 3- Roycemore Day Pep Rally, 8:15-9:45 am

Tues. Oct. 3 - Financial Aid Night for Seniors and families, optional, 6:00-7:00 pm

Mon. Oct. 29- Author Visit! Jordan Matter, author of Born to Dance: Celebrating the Wonder of Childhood, 10-11:30 am



This Week in Sports

Mon. Sept. 24- Upper School Girls Volleyball at Cristo Rey, 6:00 pm

Tues. Sept. 25- Upper School Boys Soccer vs. Acero Cruz at James Park, 4:30 pm

Wed. Sept. 26- Upper School Cross Country at Lake Forest Academy, 4:30 pm

Thur. Sept.27- Middle School Girls Volleyball vs. Francis Parker at Roycemore, 4:15 pm 

Fri. Sept. 28- Upper School Boys Soccer vs Acero Cruz at Lake View High School, 4:45 pm

Fri. Sept. 28- Lower School  and Middle School Cross Country at 41st Loyola Lakefront Cross Country Invitational at Montrose Avenue Beach House, 4:30 pm

Sat. Sept.29- Upper School Girls Volleyball at North Shore Country Day, 11:00 am


Last Week in Roycemore Athletics

The Middle School girls faced down the Cardinals of Chiaravalle. The 5/6/7 Girls defeated Chiaravalle 2-1 and the 7/8 Girls were defeated 0-2 in a close match.

The Upper School Soccer team traveled to Northbrook to face Rochelle Zell. The Griffins were victorious 5-0! The Upper School Soccer club defeated the JV Wildcats of Lake View 3-1.

The Upper School Volleyball team lost in a very close match to Lake Forest Academy




From the Head of School

Why teach Design Thinking?

By Adrianne Finley Odell


This year Roycemore has launched a new initiative to include design thinking in our curriculum. We are embracing this process for students as a further step in our educational philosophy that embraces a combination of both pragmatic and progressive pedagogy that we believe provides students with both fundamental academic knowledge and skills as well as provides them with skills in critical thinking and creative problem solving.  In August representatives from Adobe Corporation conducted a two-day workshop with our faculty to take them through a design thinking process so that faculty understand what it is and can learn how to teach our students this skill. 


Another way to describe design thinking is “creative problem solving.”  The approach, however, involves a specific process to approach problem solving that begins with consideration for the “user,” ie. to empathize. In the image below, this is part of phase 1.  The creators of design thinking hail from Stanford University.  The approach was developed in the 1980s and 1990s and then was adapted for business use by a Stanford mechanical engineering professor, David Kelley,  who founded the company IDEO.  Today design thinking is employed in nearly every business sector and many schools are finding that it is a great skill to teach young people.


The image from IDEO below illustrates the process:


Last spring Roycemore families told us (through your participation in a feedback survey) that in addition to the core academic fundamentals, you also believe the following to be very important and wanted us to focus on- character education, leadership development, social-emotional health, and technology.  Building the design thinking approach into some of our curricular assignments helps students strengthen their skills in many of these areas.  Through an integrated process, student practice empathy.  They develop leadership skills that include leading by positive influence as they collaborate on projects and learn to communicate their ideas.  Working with classmates on projects using a design thinking approach enhances their social-emotional health as they learn to negotiate, to be adaptable and agile in their thinking.  And in the experimentation (or prototype) phase of design thinking, students are often leveraging technology, whether it is using presentation software, creating an animation, or a 3D printed sample of their product.  In the vastly changing world around them, students fluency in this problem solving technique will serve them well both in college and in life.


Just in the first weeks of school students have begin projects utilizing a design thinking approach.  Students in Algebra II were asked to use a design thinking approach to solve the problem of how to make their class more “engaging.” Ideas included using songs to enhance memory and make the class more fun as well as using the game Kahoot to prep for tests. Students in an Upper School English class (Story & Structure) were assigned the problem of how to encourage Roycemore students to read more.  Resulting ideas include campaigns that involve motivational posters and bookmarks, and one that involves messages on tea bag tags to inspire adults to read more. Adults who embrace reading serve as good examples for their young children who want to model what their parents do.  Middle School students in their P3 (Personal Passion Project) program are using a design thinking approach to re-imagine different spaces in the school building.  Students designed google surveys and sent them to fellow classmates and teachers for feedback, which is step #1- Empathy/ Discovery.  First grade students also had an opportunity to employ design thinking.  They were given a STEAM Challenge to build a ramp for a toy car using cardboard tubes, tape and string.  They had to design what it would look like first, then talk to their partners to collaborate on a design, then build it.


As the design thinking initiative gains traction, we expect it will likely become an approach to problem solving that our students will draw upon naturally, even outside of their assignments, as it is an elegant and useful skill that will serve them throughout their lives in combination with the strong academic skills that they are already learning at Roycemore.

Adrianne Finley Odell Signature

Griff-ing Around...

Mock Admissions

Seniors of Roycemore and Beacon Academy came together to play college admissions officers, read college applications, and decide which best fit the profile of “Plymouth University.” Guiding them in the exercise were admissions officers from The University of Chicago, UIC, Dickinson College, and Xavier, who helped shed light on an often mysterious process.


Learning about Chicago!

The Middle School students enjoy their first social outing in Chicago!  


Lower School Monday Morning Meetings

As the leaders of the Lower School, the 4th Graders lead our Lower School Monday Morning Meeting every week.


Community Happenings

Roycemore Day Pep Rally!

Join us on Wednesday October 3rd to celebrate Roycemore Day, our 103rd birthday! Parents' coffee, pep rally, games, and spirit!  The pep rally is a school pride event to generate excitement about the coming year, sports and school spirit. Parents are invited to participate in our spirit games!  A brief address from Adrianne Finley Odell will kick us off! We aim for everything to be concluded by 9:45 am.

8:15 - Mix & Mingle coffee with RFA reps and fellow families.

8:45 - Join your students for an incredible pep rally, games and other announcements!

Grab your blue and gold spiritwear and join us to celebrate!

Free Community Yoga

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

Roycemore Spiritwear!

Please visit our online store at  to get wonderful items to wear and use.  We know you will all love what the RFA has chosen.  Wear your swag on October 3, Roycemore Day, the 103 anniversary of the opening of our school!



Book Chat

Tomorrow Wednesday, September 26, 5-6pm

Location: Roycemore School, 1200 Davis St., Evanston

Roycemore School, Northwestern University's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), and Northwestern University's School of Education and Social Policy are co-hosting a book chat on Ted Dintersmith's new book, What School Could Be, a candid report on the state of public education in America. This is a follow up to Ted's April FAN talk in Evanston. Ted is also the co-author of the book, Most Likely to Succeed. 

Refreshments will be served. Childcare available for 2- 12-year-olds. Registration required.
Questions? Email  Adrianne Finley Odell, Head of School, Roycemore School at

To view the FAN talk - Click Here
To read an excerpt from the book - Click Here

Bike the Ridge

Bike the Ridge on Sunday, September 30, 2018 - Ridge Avenue, between Howard and Church streets will be closed this Sunday, September 30, 2018 between 9 am and 1 pm to ALL vehicular traffic for Evanston’s annual Bike the Ridge! Children are encouraged to decorate their bikes and get out and ride! Roycemore will join in on the fun with a tent on our front lawn near Davis. Stop by for some face painting, Roycemore ‘swag’ or just to say “HI”! We invite anyone from the Roycemore community to help with our Bike the Ridge tent. Contact Alicia Forestall-Boehm at to let us know when you can volunteer your time during this fun Evanston event!

Let the College Admissions Season Begin!

Wondering what to do and when? Well, we have a doc for that! The Recommended Timeline for the College Application Process is designed for all Upper School Griffins. Feel free to download and consult it. We have seven colleges coming to meet our juniors and seniors in person, be sure to bookmark Roycemore’s Coordinator of College Counseling Stacia Campbell’s blog for up-to-date information.

Seeking Volunteers!

Admissions needs you! As we speed ahead into the fall, Amanda Avery, Director of Admissions seeks volunteers to represent Roycemore at upcoming fall school fairs and admissions events. It takes a village to help spread the word about our amazing school! If you are interested in becoming an Admissions Ambassador, contact Amanda directly: Thank you!!



The NU Astronomy of Stars, Black Holes, and Cosmic Explosions

This public lecture, given by CIERA research center director and Roycemore parent Vicky Kalogera, and held at Northwestern University, will be appropriate for middle-school and high-school students and will not require specialized science knowledge.

Learn more about CIERA at 


Northwestern Diversity & Inclusion and Public Events

A quick link to all the Northwestern community diversity and inclusion events. Northwestern encourages community members to take part in events like these to increase their cultural competency and understanding. View All Upcoming Events.


See what is going on at Northwestern this month and next. Concerts, lectures, athletic events - there is always something going on. View September Events.


A New Season of FAN talks!

"How to Be a Happier Parent: Raising a Family, Having a Life, and Loving (Almost) Every Minute" by Kj Dell'Antonia, writer and regular contributor to The New York Times, and former editor of its Motherlode blog, 2011-16.  

Friday, September 28, 2018 at 7:00 pm at the Regina Dominican College Prep High School in Wilmette. View flyer here.


"One Person, No Vote: Examining the History of Voter Suppression" by Carol Anderson, Ph.D., Charles Howard Candler Professor and Chair of African American Studies, Emory University. 

Monday, October 1, 2018 at 7:00 pm at Evanston Township High School in Evanston View flyer here.

Chicago - Major Project Begins on Lake Shore Drive

Please be aware of the major resurfacing and bridge repair project that is taking place on Lake Shore Drive between Monroe St. and Grand Ave. The project is on an accelerated schedule that will require lane closures reducing Lake Shore Drive to two lanes in each direction. Work began on August 27 and will continue to the beginning of October.

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Roycemore School

Roycemore School
1200 Davis Street - Evanston, Illinois 60201
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