Welcome to this year's first edition of the MPH Snapshot! We hope to give you a glimpse into the day-to-day activities happening on campus through photos and videos. We're putting The Week Ahead newsletter on hold temporarily, so be sure to check the MY MPH portal for calendar items and division-specific communication.
No Handshake Ceremony? No Problem!

Different? Yes. Non-traditional? Yes. Awesome? YES! Let's face it - this is not the year for handshaking! But we couldn't let the first day of school go by without greeting one another and warmly welcoming our students, faculty, and staff back to school. We leveraged our newly upgraded simulcasting technology to connect the whole school virtually – whether we were physically-distanced in classrooms, in offices, or at home. In one, united moment, almost 400 members of our community shook our hands in a collective, two-handed wave – signaling our friendship and solidarity in meeting the unique challenges of the 2020-2021 school year with uncommon creativity, adaptivity, and resilience. Check out the pictures below!
School Lunch...The 2020 Version
Students returned to campus last week filled with excitement, enthusiasm, and one burning question...what's for lunch? The answer –- in this extraordinary year -– is not “the usual!” In pre-pandemic years, our community has become accustomed to abundant choices attractively arranged in self-serve open buffets and salad bars. This year, of course, we have had to adapt to much stricter health protocols in preparing, serving, and delivering nutritious snacks and meals to nearly 400 people each day, all while ensuring that allergies and dietary restrictions are accommodated. For those of us who struggle to get dinner on the table for a single hungry family on any given day, we wonder how in the world MPH manages to nourish everyone safely in the midst of a public health emergency? Here’s how it works:

  • Our expanded Dining Services Team arrives e-a-r-l-y to start the production line.  
  • Chef Christine has created each day’s menu making sure that no egg or nut products are used in lunches. That helps with many of the known allergies on our campus. 
  • The assembly lines begin! Each day there is a choice of sandwich or salad choice (sometimes there are two salad choices), as well as a sun-butter sandwich. There are two sides and a milk delivered with each entree. Students and employees are getting in the habit of bringing a personal water bottle every day to ensure that they stay hydrated. (Please remember to bring a full water bottle each day!)  
  • Next, the Dining Hall crew consults a whiteboard that contains the dietary restrictions of all students and employees -- they know who is gluten-free, vegan, and dairy-free, just to name a few. Those students have lunches made individually, and their containers are labeled with their names. The current day's menu is adjusted appropriately to ensure that a student who is vegetarian does not end up with a chicken salad or that a gluten-free student does not end up with wheat bread, for example.  
  • Once the meals are packaged in containers, they are sorted by grade and advisory and loaded onto rolling carts. That’s when our faculty and staff spring into action, delivering carts throughout the school to ensure that students are not mixing unnecessarily. Students eat with their advisories either in the classroom or outside, whenever the weather permits. The MPH spirit is alive and well as everyone -– from admissions officers to administrators -- pitches in to deliver the meals, and as students accept the “new necessary normal” with good grace and no complaints. Everyone understands that, as has always been the case, bringing lunches and snacks from home could jeopardize the health of those in our communities with severe allergies. 
  • Healthy snacks and fruit are individually wrapped, and students are encouraged to “take extra” for the afternoon to make sure that everyone stays nourished and ready to learn.  
We are in the beginning stages of rebuilding our dining services program to accommodate the needs of our community and the times. We will continue to learn more and make adjustments as we go, but for now, we invite you to take a look below to get a glimpse of the dining services adaptive innovations! 
Fiesta Salad
Salads ready to go!
Cranberry Chicken salad on croissant
Dining Hall assembly line
Dining Hall staff label containers reserved for those with dietary restrictions
Containers are placed on carts when they are ready to be delivered

Elizabeth Perryman is on lunch duty today!
Check out the video on the right!
Conveying Emotion in Cinematic Storytelling
Cinematic Storytelling students are learning about the variety of shots in movies and how they convey different types of emotions. Depending on the placement of the camera and subject, the filmmaker has to decide how the subject's personal emotions, the look of the environment, or, more often than not, a hybrid of the two, shows the viewer vital information. Students learned the different shot types then practiced outside with partners. The images below show students working on an Extreme Long Shot (ELS).
Dichotomous Key. Golden Rod Galls. Jamboard. A Typical Day in AP Bio!
Students in Mrs. Yeager's AP Bio class spent time this week measuring the diameter and height of golden rod galls, cutting them open and using a dichotomous key to identify the inhabitants. The gall fly lays its egg in the stem when the plant is young and produces a chemical that mimics a hormone, which makes the gall grow. However, there is a parasitic wasp (and other predators/competitors/parasites) that will lay its eggs in the gall, and whose larva will eat the fly larvae. The students compared the average of the galls' sizes with different galls' inhabitants and used statistical analyses to see if there is possibly a significant difference in gall size selected by the wasp. Students participating in simulcast learning at home were able to contribute ideas and information about galls in a Jamboard, and were able to see the data as students in the class entered it into the spreadsheet. The students at home also used Zoom to join class outside as the students were measuring. Mrs. Yeager joined the Zoom call on her phone and went around to different groups to show the students at home what was inside the galls.
Click an image above to view the full
AP Bio photo gallery.
Click the image above to see The Bridge photo gallery.
Bridge Students Learn
Grit and Resiliency

This year the Bridge (Grades 4 and 5) is adding a new dimension to its program. Maria and Jenn have embarked on a close-knit curriculum that allows students to see deeper connections from subject to subject. In humanities, students learned about grit and resilience through stories of “successful failures,” in videos and picture books. They began formulating long-term goals and are currently mapping a dream board, which they will develop into a final project. This connects with STEM lessons where the students develop and practice showing grit and resilience in a challenging math activity. They're also demonstrating resilience as they learn how to refine their questioning to create a better experiment.

Technology Rules!

Math Department chair Donna Meehan was unable to be in school a couple days this week. However, thanks to our newly equipped classrooms, she was able to teach her calculus lesson virtually. She was easily able to interact with students, share her screen, answer questions, and engage as if she were right there in the room!

A Note From Nurse Christine

Welcome new MPH families! A friendly reminder that student physicals should be turned in to the Health office by October 8. Thank you!
Questions? I can be reached at:
315-446-2452, ext. 127
315-383-4792, cell
866-846-0684, fax
With Governor Cuomo's approval on reinstating low-risk interscholastic sports, we plan to begin fall athletic practices on Wednesday, September 23. Varsity teams will start practice immediately after school on the 23rd. We are waiting for more information from participating schools in the OHSL (Onondaga High School League) to determine if we can have interscholastic sports for modified teams. Stay tuned for information on this.

Specific details and information on a parent meeting scheduled for Monday evening (September 21) will be sent this weekend to all Middle and Upper School families. Please be on the lookout for an email from the Athletics Department.

Stay up-to-date on MPH happenings by visiting the MY MPH Portal, our Facebook page and our Flickr feed!

Manlius Pebble Hill School | 315-446-2452mphschool.org