Roycemore School

Weekly Newsletter · April 10th 2018

This Week's Calendar


Thursday, April 12
7 pm · FAN  speaker, Ted Dintersmith (see below)

Friday, April 13 - Saturday, April 14
7 pm · Upper School Play Three Musketeers

Tuesday, April 17
8:30 am - 10:00 am · Admissions open house
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm · One Book, Read Together, Griffins in grades 1 - 4 and parents  are invited to participate in an evening of adventure, discussion, and a Lemoncello-style scavenger hunt, in our library.

Thursday, April 19
8:45 am - 9:45 am · Middle School Science Fair

Saturday, April 28
6:30 pm · Annual scholarship dinner

From the Head of School

Today we have a guest columnist, Annette O’Donnell, our Lower School Art and French teacher who has also been leading some school-wide professional development for our faculty on The Leader in Me. She shares with us about…

Annette ODonnell

Creative Collaboration at Roycemore
By Annette M. O’Donnell

The Partnership for 21st Learning, a cooperative developed by teachers, education experts and business leaders identified these key skills needed for success in learning and innovation: Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity, also known as The 4 C’s. At Roycemore, not only do we expect our students to practice these skills, but we encourage our faculty to use these same skills when lesson planning. We find that two minds are better than one, because we are limited by own perspectives, and when we work alone, we cannot see what is coming up behind us. When we work with another, there is this exponential widening that occurs. It is not just two teachers ideas combined, rather there are limitless ideas for creative lessons. Many of our teachers are now lesson planning together, and teaching either separately, or co-teaching.

The Fine Arts in essence embody the 4 C’s. A great way to incorporate the 4 C’s into any lesson is by integrating The Fine Arts into a lesson plan, with interdisciplinary collaboration being the result. Sarah Bixby, our World Languages teacher often uses art, both visual and musical,  as a means to teach both Spanish and French. Tara Skinner, our 4th Grade teacher collaborated with Annette O’Donnell (me), the Lower School Art teacher, to teach the styles of poetry by teaching how color expresses emotion and having each student paint a watercolor painting in the art room in the colors that best expressed their poems. Howard Stanley and Amy Milner, our Middle School Humanities teachers, collaborate on a daily basis to integrate the subjects of History and Literature and to make their lessons more engaging in both subject areas. In the Upper School, art teacher Ruth Hecht and science teacher, Tom Fogarty have collaborated to create a Woodworking January Short Term Class, which included both sophisticated sculpture and physics concepts.

Each year, there are many examples of cross-divisional collaboration, as well. A few years ago, Bill Horine’s 9th Grade World History class went down to the Lower School and worked in collaboration with then 3rd Grade teacher, Tricia’s Malkinson’s class on a project to study classical Maya civilization. The World History students acted as mentors and archaeological experts to help the 3rd graders understand how artifacts from Maya civilization can inform us about traits Maya civilization possessed when they were a living society. Kym Showers, our Upper School Science teacher brings our youngest students into her lab to do exciting hands-on science projects with her students each year. In addition, our Director of Technology & The Middle School Experience, Elizabeth Shutters collaborates with all of our faculty to help integrate technology into our curriculum in really meaningful ways.

Students will need the 4 C’s in the 21st Century workplace, because no one works in a vacuum. Businesses like Google are looking for young people who are practiced in these innovation skills.  Our teachers model these skills on a daily basis while requiring our students, from the very youngest, all the way up to our seniors, to practice these skills. One way we do this with our students is by asking Essential Questions, for example, we will break the students up into small teams and then ask them to answer a question, like, “What does collaboration look like?” This question is to be answered through a variety of manipulatives, such as clay, blocks, legos, etc. Students must talk with each other to make a plan for how to answer this question. Once the students have done so, and constructed their answers, they share them with the larger group. This is when it is revealed that all of the 4 C’s were used to answer the question. In order to answer an essential question, one must think critically and creatively, but also communicate and collaborate with teammates. To best prepare our students, we need to provide them with the skills to be successful not only in school, but more importantly in life.


Community Happenings

Family Action Network Event with Ted Dintersmith, April 12

We recently showed the film Most Likely to Succeed at Roycemore. The film served as a catalyst for our NextGen Roycemore conversations for us to explore how Roycemore might further adapt to support the skills that our students will need in our rapidly changing world. Ted Dintersmith, co-author of the book and co-producer of the film, will be giving a FAN presentation on Thursday evening April, 12: “What School Could Be: Insights and Inspiration from Teachers Across America.”  The event is at 7 PM at New Trier High School (7 Happ Rd., Northfield), and Roycemore School is one of the sponsors.

"Ted Dintersmith, Ph.D., one of the nation's leading voices on innovation and education, took an unprecedented road trip throughout the 2015-2016 school year in which he visited 200 schools across all 50 states to discover inspiring educators who courageously break from what, he argues, is an obsolete education model. His latest book, What School Could Be: Insights and Inspiration from Teachers Across America makes the case that education could be better and more equitable if schools challenged students with real-world problems. It explains the urgency in ending our nation's all-in focus on "college-ready" curriculum tied to high-stakes tests of low-level skills."

Special Features

March for Our Lives by Cara Marantz '20

On March 24th, I was in Washington, D.C. for the March for our Lives. Because I feel so passionately about the movement, being on Pennsylvania Avenue, and listening to the founders of the march, and other influential children from all over the country, was very important to me. I was surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people who have also had enough of the gun violence plaguing our country. We were all standing there, packed so tightly together that we couldn’t move, and yet, no one minded, because we were experiencing history. We were a part of that history. It was the most important and impactful thing that I have ever been a part of. At some points, I found myself tearing up, partly because of the circumstances that brought us all there, but also because we were showing what a true democracy looked like, and we were demanding that our congresspeople make a change.

The moment of the march that moved me the most was during Samantha Fuentes’s speech, a victim of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. She was in the Holocaust History class where two lives were claimed, one being Nicholas Dworet’s. March 24th was his birthday, and she had everybody at the march sing Happy Birthday. I was sobbing while I sang. One of the issues with gun violence in our society, is that statistics are the main focus, and these people who are injured or killed simply become another statistic. But they’re people, they’re mothers, sons, daughters, fathers, sisters, and brothers, and they had pasts and presents and futures. Nick Dworet would have been 18, and he had a beautiful life that was stolen. It was stolen by a gun.

The March for our Lives was many things to me. It was history, and it was important, and it was a moment of realization. When I say I want gun control, and I want this gun violence problem fixed, it’s because no person should have their life stolen from them. That’s it. There are many other issues, but the main one is that no one should fear for their life and die while they’re at school, or church, or a movie theater, or a nightclub. Nick Dworet should have been celebrating his birthday on the 24th, instead of his family grieving and pushing for change. The March for our Lives was an amazing experience, and one that I am so lucky and grateful that I was able to have.


Roycemore School is planning to have a float in the Evanston Fourth of July parade this year. If you are interested in participating in the making of the float, we will be building it at school the week of June 25th. We are in search of a flat bed truck/ trailer for the float, volunteers to build, and volunteers to participate in the parade. The parade starts at 2 pm on July 4th and is over around 4 pm, when we will relocate to Roycemore for a community picnic/ barbeque. Following the picnic/ barbeque, a group will walk down to the waterfront to enjoy the Palatine Band followed by fireworks. Please email Adrianne Finley Odell to let her know if you have a truck or flatbed, want to participate in float building, participate in the parade, and/ or participate in the picnic/ barbeque at Roycemore following the parade.

Important Reminders

Annual Scholarship Dinner & Auction

The Auction Dinner is nearly here! Grab your tickets now — you won't want to miss it!
A Roycemore tradition is making a comeback this year with A Night to Remember, the annual auction and scholarship dinner, on April 28 at 6:30 pm. The Auction committee is hard at work and will transform Roycemore's MPR into an elegant Old Hollywood Themed dinner. Individual tickets are $125.00 and will directly benefit our Scholarship and Financial Aid programs.

Just for you — a sneak peek at our Auction Items:

  • A stay in Senegal, West Africa
  • A trip on a fishing charter on Captiva Island, Florida as part of a week-long package
  • A Weekend in Santa Fe
  • Teachers who will cook for you
  • Local food and beverages
  • Health and Fitness
  • and much, much more to come!

Call or email our Director of Development, Sara Keely McGuire, with any questions you may have.

Summer at Roycemore - NEW options added!

As you are planning your student’s summer activities, be sure to check out the options at Roycemore. Several new opportunities have recently been added, for all ages.

Featured Events

Admissions Morning Coffee

On April 17th from 8:30 - 10 am we will host an Admissions morning. This is a great opportunity for you to encourage individuals you know to come learn more about Roycemore, talk to students, teachers and tour the school. We are also looking for volunteer parents to join us that morning. If interested, please contact Amanda Avery, Director of Admissions.

2018 Congressional Art Competition

Come and check out the artwork of seniors Rayanne Perez, Frank Xue, and Michael Xie at the 2018 congressional art competition! Their work will be displayed at the Skokie Public Library from Mar. 26 - Apr. 14 with a reception Sat. April 14th at 10 am. The winner of the overall competition for the 9th District will have their art displayed in the U.S. Capitol for an entire year, in addition to having the opportunity to travel to D.C. to take part in a special ceremony.

Clockwise from top left: Michael Xie, Portrait of BigSean, 9" x 12", watercolors on paper; Frank Xue, Pottery Room Table, 9" x 12", graphite pencil, Ray Perez, Running Down a Dream, 9" x 12", watercolors on paper.

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Roycemore School

Roycemore School
1200 Davis Street - Evanston, Illinois 60201
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