December 14, 2018
Welcome to this edition of The Westminster Weekly, where you will learn about what's been happening recently at Westminster School! We welcome story suggestions from parents, students, teachers, and alumni. Please email your news to Mrs. Nancy Schuler .
Mark Your Calendars
Upcoming Events

December 18
Builders Club Caroling at Leewood

December 20
K-8 Music Program
"It's a Wonderful Night"

December 21
Cookie Party
(12:15 Dismissal)

December 21-January 6
Winter Break

Hoping to see lots of grads at these events next week!
School News
Mary Poppins--"Practically Perfect in Every Way"
Congratulations to the 6th-graders and their teachers/directors for a wonderful performance of the classic show, Mary Poppins. This was a very complex show requiring many scene changes which the students made so efficiently. The set and staging were extremely creative and appealing. As is tradition at Westminster School, the lead roles were shared by several students which allows for a better balance of participation and responsibility. All of the students did an excellent job acting, singing and dancing. Kudos to directors/teachers, Mrs. Foster and Ms. Fowler and to music director, Mr. Locke! Bravo!
8th Grade Visits George Mason University
The 8th grade math field trip to George Mason University started at Westminster with the admissions presentation that the admissions counselors give to rising high school students. It covered what they should do in high school to prepare for college, what admissions counselors look for when accepting applicants, how college is different from high school, and how to find the college that fits each student's needs.

The class then drove to GMU and did a self-guided tour of the campus, stopping to see the Center for Performing Arts, the student union and library, a few of the department buildings, and some dorms. The tour ended at the cafeteria, where the 8th grade practiced their dining etiquette at the buffet.

 After lunch, the students attended a presentation by one of GMU's math professors entitled "Your Teachers are Lying to You!" The students were led in a discussion and exploration of math rules that seem unbreakable, e.g., you can't divide by zero, there are 180 degrees in the angles of a triangle, and 2+2=4, and learned when you can, in fact, arrive at different answers to these seemingly easy questions!

All of the students said that they learned something new, and all were excited by the hands-on activities that went with each of the math rules.The 8th grade represented themselves and Westminster School in the best way. Miss Schmidt was proud of their comportment, manners, participation, and enthusiasm throughout the entire trip. Thank you to Miss Schmidt for arranging such a great experience for the students.
The balloon activity demonstrated that there can be more than 180 degrees in the angles of a triangle (if the triangle is drawn on a spherical surface).
This activity had the students behaving like a living number line, performing operations (adding moves to the right, subtracting moves to the left, multiplying by negative one turns you 180 degrees, etc).
6th Grade Visits Hillwood Estate
The 6th-graders visited Hillwood Estate in Washington, D.C. this week. The students marveled at the beauty of the French tapestries, furniture, and porcelain dinnerware, and they were even able to recognize structural elements in the design of the building that were made in typical French, 18th-century style. To top it off, they got the opportunity to create their own "porcelain" plates, modeling their designs after some of the intricate styles they witnessed in the estate. The students thoroughly enjoyed their visit! Thank you to Mme Cagua for arranging this great trip!
Scarlet Letter Projects
The 8th-graders recently created some fabulous projects based on Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter . The students first wrote "found poems" by reframing the novel’s words as character portraits before analyzing their chosen character’s development in a four-paragraph essay with in-text citations.

Found poetry  is a type of  poetry  created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources and reframing them as  poetry  (a literary equivalent of a collage) by making changes in spacing and lines, or by adding or deleting text, thus imparting new meaning.

Finally, the students designed creative visuals to represent either a critical life moment for the character or his/ her transformation. Their final products are impressively thoughtful and inventive! Come by the skylight corridor to see them in person and read the very elevated written works!
Alumni News
High School Freshman Jumps in with Both Feet
At the Basis Independent School McLean end-of-trimester awards ceremony, Shalini Setty , Class of 2018, was well celebrated for her academic accomplishments, and performed a short skit that focused on kindness and inclusion.

Shalini achieved honor roll status, performing in the top 15% of her class. In addition to this academic achievement, she received what is called the "Show Take Make Award," which is given to only one student in each grade for demonstrating the values of the school – Showing Respect, Taking Responsibility, and Making Improvements. 

Shalini was inspired by her experience in the Westminster Builders Club to bring one of our traditional charitable activities to her new school. She has begun a "Meals for Young Minds Program" at Basis and it has already taken off. The Westminster Builders Club participates in the "Meals for Young Minds Program" every month.

Congratulations to Shalini for her academic achievements and for already making a positive impact on her school community in her very first few months as a student there. We also love this picture with Shalini and her grandparents, who have helped to usher two generations through Westminster School!

Brother/Sister Team Start Non-Profit
Ryan Mai (Class of 2017) and his sister, Madeleine (Class of 2015) have teamed up with a couple of friends to create a non-profit organization that provides meals and clean water to impoverished students in Viet Nam.

From their website, you can read their story below:

"In the Summer of 2018, Ryan read an article about a school lunch program that only costs $1 per student per day. However, that price, as low as it may seem, was still high for many families living in Vietnam. As a person who always enjoyed a good meal, Ryan knew that this was neither fair nor right. He brainstormed with his sister Madeleine to build something that was sustainable. The answer was a nonprofit organization.

DURI.ĂN, or Durable Eats (ăn means to eat in Vietnamese), has an ambitious goal to provide sustainable nutrients and clean water for impoverished students and families in rural villages in Vietnam.

DURI.ĂN is a 100% volunteer organization. We are also primarily run by youths. Our goal is to empower young people to make a difference by undertaking small projects with big impacts. This is achieved through our Ambassadorship program, which allows young people to exercise their entrepreneurial spirit and gain experience while fulfilling their civic duty to society and to the world. We aim to connect young people from across the U.S. as well as in Vietnam, and perhaps across other countries in the future."

Ryan is currently a sophomore at Phillips Academy Andover and Madeleine is a senior at James Madison High School. It is no surprise to us that these two are taking matters into their own hands and making a real difference in the world. They are true examples of Westminster griffins and they make us very proud!
The Reviews are In!
A "Mom Review" of the 7th grade's production of The Taming of the Shrew was recently featured on the Washington Family Magazine website. Read the Review Here

Eighth-grader, Mealy Cronin, provided a "kid review" of the show, Jingle ARRGH the Way which is currently running at Encore Stage and Studio. Her review is also published on the Family Magazine website. Read Mealy's Review Here
Support Westminster While You Shop
Did you know that you can give to Westminster School simply by shopping on Amazon? Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service.

If you are planning to shop on Amazon this season (or any time of year), we hope that you will consider placing your order through Amazon Smiles. Simply name Westminster School as your charitable organization on your account.

Support Westminster School by starting your shopping at
Word of the Week

adjective:  amenable

(of a person) open and responsive to suggestion; easily persuaded or controlled."parents who have had easy babies and amenable children"

cooperative, acquiescent, compliant, accommodating, obliging, biddable, manageable, 
controllable, governable, persuadable, tractable, responsive, pliant, malleable, complaisant, 
easily handled

uncooperative, unresponsive, resistant

  • (of a thing) capable of being acted upon in a particular way; susceptible to."the patients had cardiac failure not amenable to medical treatment"
  • synonyms:susceptible, receptive, responsive
  • "many cancers are amenable to treatment"

Origin :

late 16th century (in the sense ‘liable to answer (to a law or tribunal)’): an Anglo-Norman French legal term, from Old French  amener  ‘bring to,’ from  a-  (from Latin  ad  ) ‘to’ +  mener  ‘bring’ (from late Latin  minare  ‘drive (animals),’ from Latin  minari  ‘threaten’)
Food for Thought
With the holidays approaching and many of our children receiving much attention, time and gifts from family members, it's a good time to prepare them for writing thank-you notes. Thank-you notes may be more important today than ever. At Westminster School, we believe in the power of a hand-written note. This article gives some good tips on thank-you note writing.
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