Roycemore School

Weekly Newsletter · February 20th 2018

This Week's Calendar


Wednesday, February 21
10:00 am - Lunar New Year Celebrations
5:00 pm - Yoga - All Welcome - Free & Open to the Public

Thursday, February 22
3:15pm - World Language Film Festival - The African Doctor

Saturday, February 24
10:30am - 12:00 pm - CELEBRATE DIVERSITY: Communicating Across Cultures (see below for more information)

Week of February 26th
Lower School Theme Week - This is a time where the students in Kindergarten through Grade 4 learn about a topic in depth. Each morning of that week is devoted to hands-on activities that will help the student learn more about the topic. This year we are studying Climate Change.

Check the online calendar at for more information. Athletic practices are on the school calendar page.

From the Head of School


I know, like me, your heart breaks for the families of the children whose lives were lost in Parkland, Florida last week. On the heels of yet another senseless tragedy in one of our nation’s schools, the faculty and I pause to think again about how we can ensure that we create as safe of an environment as possible for your children.  In September, I sent the email below to families and I thought it an appropriate time to share it with you again.  Since that time, we have conducted lockdown and fire drills, we have implemented a new digital security check system for all visitors to campus- Raptor, and before last week’s tragedy we had already scheduled a training in partnership with Chiaravalle Montessori, Beacon Academy and the Evanston Police Department to receive ALICE training (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate)-- the pioneer in active shooter preparation training in our country.  In addition, we have a safe school plan that our faculty are familiar with and each has a copy in their classroom in a bright red translucent folder so they can easily locate it if needed in a hurry.  Finally, it doesn't hurt that the Northwestern Police Department is across the street from our school.  I pledge to you that we will continue our commitment to ensure Roycemore is a place of refuge, safety and happiness for your children.  

Thank you for your partnership in their education,

Adrianne Finley Odell
Head of School

September 1, 2017
Dear Roycemore Families,
As we head into the Labor Day weekend, I send my best wishes to you and your family for safe travels (if your plans take you away), and special moments together. In my childhood, Labor Day weekend was always associated with the Jerry Lewis’ Muscular Dystrophy telethon-- and the news of his recent passing brought all of those memories back of the incredible and important support that fundraising event meant to families in need. Labor Day weekend also meant an annual family reunion. I grew up in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio, and the extended family would gather at Rising Park in Lancaster, which always included hikes up to the top of the overlook, mischief with my cousins, and lots of great desserts-- pie always included! I hope that you and your family create some special memories together that they, too, can fondly remember years later.
While on the topic of your family’s safety this weekend, I would like to share with you some of the ways that the Roycemore faculty work together to ensure that our school is a safe place for your children.
Keeping Your Children Safe
When I refer to a “safe place,” certainly physical safety is critical, but emotional safety is just as important. In this day and age where there is so much going on in our childrens’ lives that can cause them emotional stress, Roycemore works hard to create an environment where every student can feel a sense of belonging.
Emotional Safety
During our faculty in-service the week before school started, our consulting psychologist Jay Einhorn spoke to the faculty on the topic “Student Social-Emotional Safety: Issues and Considerations.” He addressed the needs that children have as they progress through adolescence and the development of the brain, including discussion of anxiety, depression, substance abuse, self-harm and social aggression. He spoke about how to identify warning signs and how to respond. Most importantly, he ensured that our faculty know that he is a resource to them to assist should there be a concern with a student that needs additional support.
Online Safety
Our Lower School students have the benefit of access to technology resources on loan while they are on campus. Our Middle School students receive school-issued Chromebooks. Our Upper School students bring their own devices. We do not allow Middle School and younger students to access cell phones or other such technology during the school day. While students are on our campus, we can limit their access to inappropriate or questionable websites. We can’t control access, however, while the students are not at school, so we ask for your help as partners. While your children are at home, you should feel comfortable to set the rules regarding technology use. Have a charging station in a common area of your house and have your children plug their devices in at those charging stations at night. They should know that you will be checking their technology on random occasions in order to keep them safe. Be familiar with what apps your children have installed on their phones. Some are wonderful. Others… not so much. Your awareness of what they are doing online is important to their overall health. I encourage you to not let your children have their electronic devices in their bedrooms at night. Even if they are not using them, the ambient light from them (and the sounds of texts going off at all hours) interferes with important sleep-- the number ONE way that children can prepare their brains for a new day of learning and growing.
Physical Safety
We take this seriously at Roycemore, that is why we had first aid and CPR training for our faculty and staff before the start of school. We have set policies regarding when the building is open and closed (7:30am in the morning until 6:00pm at night unless there is a special event) so we can ensure that the campus is safe. We have many safety and security policies in place. Our character education program focuses on shared values and addresses social aggression. Our Student-Parent Handbook addresses the topic of student behavior and expectations, and we do not hesitate to tackle tough issues head-on with our children. But most importantly, we KNOW your children. Because we are a small school, our faculty truly know each and every student.
Your children are all amazing and each of them brings special qualities to our community. We are here to love and support your children so that they will grow, learn and thrive in an environment that values them as individuals with all of the beauty, complexity, creativity, and yes, flaws that we all have-- but that, truly is what makes us special. It is one of the things I love most about Roycemore. We have an incredibly diverse community of learners that live and learn together every day-- and we celebrate each of them as a true Original!
Adrianne Finley Odell
Head of School

Adrianne Finley Odell Signature

Special Feature

Senior Benjamin Hurley Named A National Merit Finalist

Last Tuesday evening, Benjamin Hurley heard the news he was hoping for.  By way of a phone call home from Head of School, Adrianne Finley Odell, Benjamin and his family learned that he has advanced to the final stage of the 63rd annual National Merit scholarship competition.  With his status as a finalist, Benjamin has the opportunity to continue in the competition for about 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth approximately $33 million that will be offered this spring.  His accomplishment is based on outstanding achievement on the PSAT, and his academic record throughout his time at Roycemore.  We caught up with Benjamin to learn more about what has inspired him and his plans for the future.

What are you looking forward to in the years ahead and what goals do you have?  Have there been any experiences at Roycemore that have had a particular impact on you to help to reach your accomplishments so far?

As an undergraduate and beyond, I plan to work in marine science, specifically working toward marine conservation (whether in the fishing industry or similar areas). Living in Illinois, there aren't many opportunities around to do in-depth marine research; however, Roycemore has worked with me to give me not only a rigorous academic challenge but also specific ways to apply my work to marine science (such as the independent study in marine biology that I am pursuing this year). The tight-knit community and relaxed attitude toward activities have additionally allowed me to be very involved in all the school has to offer--volleyball and student government, for example--while still being engaged in a heavy set of classes. There has never been a moment at Roycemore where I did not feel the school was working to meet my needs and create the best environment possible for me to maximize my potential and enjoy my high school years. Without the quality of academics that Roycemore has offered, I would be sitting in some other school classroom bored out of my mind, less excited about my future career than about just being done with school.

Who in your life would you like to thank and who has given you the most encouragement?  Who are your role models or mentors?  Who (in the world) are you inspired by?

Naturally, my parents have made countless sacrifices for me over my academic career and serve as role models in life. I have no doubt that without their constant advocacy for me and willingness to be flexible, I would be half as far or as happy as I am today. I also have to thank the Roycemore faculty, all of whom have been exceedingly flexible and generous with their time. In particular, Mrs. Showers has been a constant mentor and source of support to me, and I cannot possibly express enough thanks for all she has done not only in creating some of my most engaging coursework but also in the time she has spent helping me and countless others to feel happy beyond just the classroom. I also want to thank my friends in the student body--they are a huge part of what makes the school the environment that it is, and my time spent in the Alcove is just as important to me as that spent in class. In the world, I am inspired by those leaders who work now in the same positions I aspire to; Dr. Sylvia Earle, for example, has been perhaps the most prominent face of marine conservation for many years, and her career and current objectives provide much inspiration for my own future goals as a marine scientist.

Featured Events

World Languages Film Festival 2018

Themes of Love - Thursdays in February
Feb. 22: The African Doctor — Rated PG

Admission is free and all are welcome! Sponsored by the World Languages Department and the Middle School Culture Club, there will be a World Language film featured each Thursday this month at 3:15 pm in Room 227.

Come enjoy a hot chocolate, tea or hot cider, celebrate film, and immerse yourself in another language.

Contact Sarah Bixby for more information.

Celebrate Diversity : Communicating Across Cultures

Saturday, February 24 - 10:30am - 12:00 pm
Intersectionality of Culture, Race and Systems of Power.

Join us for a brief intercultural exploration.  Learn about cultural context, which influences each of us, and about how power (both implicit and explicit) can operate.  The goal is to have rich dialogue and deepen understanding, and to come away with more questions than answers. Experiential learning is predicated on curiosity and openness.  Come ready to explore internally (your own identity), externally (learning about other participants), and globally (the larger forces which influences all).

Screening - Most Likely to Succeed

Wednesday February 28 at 6:00 pm

Roycemore School will host a screening of the film- Most Likely to Succeed, a thought-provoking documentary feature film that reveals the growing shortcomings of conventional education methods in today's innovative world, on February 28 at 6:00 pm. This is to kick-off our conversations for NextGen Roycemore and what the school should be considering in the years ahead to prepare our young people for the rapidly changing world they are entering. All faculty, staff, students and parents are welcome. Childcare will be available ($10) and pizza, popcorn and drinks will be available. View a trailer of the film.

Important Reminders

Dance Marathon Fundraiser

This year, March 9–11, Northwestern University Dance Marathon (NUDM) is partnering with Cradles to Crayons as its primary beneficiary. Cradles to Crayons is a non-profit organization in Chicago that provides children age 0 through 12 living in low income and at risk situations with the essential items that they need to thrive — at home, at school, and at play. They provide these items by connecting communities that have with communities that need. Roycemore is partnering to host a donation drive for Cradles to Crayons, and are collecting new and gently used clothes, toys, books, and more. These items will then be taken to Cradles to Crayons' "Giving Factory", where volunteers will sort the items into "KidPacks" of personalized, essential items, which they can then distribute to partner organizations. It only takes $33 to create one KidPack — if you would like to further support the mission of Cradles to Crayons, please consider donating at


Parents, as we look ahead to the future of Roycemore School, we are dedicated to continuing to provide your children with excellent opportunities to succeed. The deadline for re-enrollment is February 28th. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Heather Lucey.

Annual Scholarship Dinner & Auction

“A Night To Remember”
On Saturday, April 28, 2018, Roycemore's long-standing tradition continues with the Annual Dinner and Auction. At the event, current Parents and Grandparents will rub elbows with Alumni and leaders from our community. The night features a silent auction, wine bar, and seated dinner with catering by The Hearty Boys of Food Network fame!

The Scholarship Dinner & Auction committee is seeking donated items to offer at the silent and live auctions. These lively events are fun for guests and they help raise much-needed dollars to replenish the Scholarship fund. We especially need sports tickets (Cubs, Sox, Bulls) and tickets to Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Ravinia, or other similar performance events. We are also seeking donations of cooking lessons, spa day packages, jewelry, housewares, toys, and unusual items from near and far. Did you receive a new Cuisinart as a holiday gift and already have one in your cupboard? Donate it to the Roycemore Auction and take a tax deduction! A win-win all around. To donate, please contact Sara McGuire, Director of Development or visit our website to download a donation form!

Summer Camp Registration

Roycemore School's Two Excellent Summer Programs, Inspiration Factory (IF) and Camp Griffin information is on our website!
Also this year, Inspiration Factory will have an Extended Day Option to 6:00 pm. Registration is open!

Community Happenings

Phoenix Yoga Project at Roycemore

Wednesdays from 5:00-6:00 pm in the library - Classes are FREE and open to the public. To receive sign-up information before each class, visit and sign up for emails under “Join the movement today!”

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Roycemore School

Roycemore School
1200 Davis Street - Evanston, Illinois 60201
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