All posts by Jill VanderWoude

March 12, 2020 COVID-19 Letter from HOS

Dear NSCS Families,

I want to keep you all apprised of recent decisions and considerations that have been made by the Board and Administration.  Please keep in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic is dynamic, and things can change hour-to-hour, so please check your email frequently for updates.

As of Thursday evening, March 12th, all three of our campuses will remain open tomorrow, March 13th.  Tomorrow the administration, along with Board approval, will make a decision as to future school closings, and we will inform families either by Friday night or Saturday morning of our decision via email.

With that said, teachers will be sending school-work home tomorrow with students in grades K through 8.  This work will be enough for about two-weeks.  NO DECSION has been made yet about a school closure, however, should one be made over the weekend we want to be prepared.  Additionally, any parent/guardian who desires to keep their child/ren home from school tomorrow, or at any time during the pandemic, may do so without having the absence recorded on their child/ren’s school records.  All absences will be considered excused.

As always, please never hesitate to reach out to me at pheintz@nschristian.org with any questions or concerns you might have.  We are all committed to working through this together as we mutually support each other’s efforts.  This is a difficult time for all of us we navigate a situation that has no script.  However, we move forward trusting that God is in control.

Below is a letter that I had written to all our families this morning, with the intention of emailing it out by noon today, but my day ended up holding many distractions and conversations around this pandemic.  I have decided to send it out anyhow hoping that it will prove to be a source of encouragement to you.

With Blessings,

Pam Heintz, Head of School

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Letter to Families- March 12, 2020

Dear Families,

I was driving to school today and feeling a bit scared.  There, I’ve admitted it.  I was feeling scared, insecure and uncertain.  I was tired of turning on the radio or TV and hearing about the Corona Virus and its far-reaching effects, its unknowns, and the chaos it seems to evoke.  I was feeling like the whole world had gone mad!

As is my routine to pray during my commute to work, I said a quick token prayer out of obligation.  I asked God to bless and protect my family, our school, and the country, and then I said, amen.  Following this prayer, I immediately turned the radio on to hear the news, and learn about what might have changed in the past three minutes since I last tuned in.   As I listened my mind traveled to all the what-ifs.  Letting one’s mind travel to the what-ifs is always a dangerous place to go.

I arrived to our Beverly Campus and Chapel soon started. I really wasn’t up for Chapel today.  Please don’t judge meJ  It was simply that my head was filled with other thoughts and distractions.  I was self-focused thinking about how I needed to manage things at school and at home in the midst of a pandemic.  As I walked into Chapel my spirit immediately soared. Our Student Worship Team was already singing, and what a melodious sound it was!  I took my place and stood in a pew with some older students, and was swept up in the moment of being present before the Lord.  As I looked around the room, I saw students worshipping a mighty God.  I witness children unabashedly singing out in confidence to their Savior.  Teary-eyed I asked God to forgive me for being so fearful and to fill me with His peace which passes all understanding.  I asked God to take my feet and plant them securely upon the rock, that is His Son Jesus.  I asked God to allow me to be a witness to those around, and especially during this time.

As I left Chapel, I felt uplifted and ready to face life’s challenges.  I soon stepped into a meeting with Christine Saia, our Director of Admissions.  We made small talk, which included a brief conversation about the Corona Virus, as every conversation these past several days has.  Mrs. Saia shared with me that while she was praying with her own children this morning, who had questions and concerns about the pandemic, the Holy Spirit spoke to her heart.   Mrs. Saia was able to share the most insightful and wonderful message with her children. She explained to them that the word corona is a Latin word meaning crown.  Mrs. Saia proceeded to tell her children that only our God wears a crown worthy enough for the King of kings.   She expressed that only our King has control over all things.

It is our crown-wearing King that holds all the whole world in the palm his hands, including the Corona Virus.  God knows all things and there is not one tiny microscopic germ that he does not have full authority over.  We can trust God with this pandemic and with all things.  He is a Faithful God.

I want to encourage you to remain calm and hopeful as we trust God to help us ride out this storm.  We have a tremendous opportunity to respond differently than the world.  We can respond with peace, and offer reassuring words to those around us, particularly to our children and students.

I was reminded today, that our students, even the younger ones, sense that something is amiss.  They are feeling the strain of what is going on right now in our world, and unlike adults, they have not fully grown into the capacity to layer what they hear with reason and logic.  As the adults in their lives we must be the voice of reason.  Some healthy behaviors that we can adopt at home, and around our children would be to limit the amount of news that children have access to.  While it is good for them to be aware of what is going on in the world, the content of information needs to be age-appropriate and monitored.  It is also good to connect regularly with your child/ren and asking them if they have specific concerns about the Corona Virus.  Consider making a family contingency plan in case there is a prolonged school closure, and reassure your child/ren that if you still have to go to work that they will be well-cared for by someone else during the day.  Remind your child/ren that they are safe at home and at school, because the adults at these places are doing all they can to make sure these environments are kept clean and safe.  Be sure that your child/ren receive plenty of sleep and maintain a healthy diet – these are good practices for healthy living!  Above all, spend time with your child/ren doing “normal” everyday things like, baking cookies, playing games, doing chores around the house, or reading a good book together.  Life must go on in spite of this pandemic and our children need to see the adults around them still engaging in every day affairs.

I have attached the lyrics to a song that our Student Worship Team sang today, and I encourage you to listen to it when you have the opportunity.  It is a powerful reminder that there is victory in Jesus!

With Love,

Pam Heintz, Head of School

See a Victory, Elevation Music

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNd-PbVhnvA

The weapon may be formed, but it won’t prosper
When the darkness falls, it won’t prevail
‘Cause the God I serve knows only how to triumph
My God will never fail
Oh, my God will never fail

I’m gonna see a victory
I’m gonna see a victory
For the battle belongs to You, Lord
I’m gonna see a victory
I’m gonna see a victory
For the battle belongs to You, Lord (oh yeah)

There’s power in the mighty name of Jesus
Every war He wages He will win
I’m not backing down from any giant
‘Cause I know how this story ends
Yes, I know how this story ends

I’m gonna see a victory
I’m gonna see a victory
For the battle belongs to You, Lord
I’m gonna see a victory
I’m gonna see a victory
For the battle belongs to You, Lord
I’m gonna see a victory
I’m gonna see a victory
For the battle…

 

March 11, 2020 COVID-19 Letter from HOS

Dear Families,
I wanted to provide an update for you all, and will do so periodically so that you will remain informed as to the measures NSCS is taking to ensure the continued safety and well-being of your children.

Our amazing faculty has committed themselves to faithfully disinfecting the hard surfaces of their classrooms each afternoon. Our custodial staff has also provided extra measures of cleaning and disinfecting to all our buildings. Teachers are also being vigilant about reminding students to cover their mouths and noses when they sneeze, with either a tissue or the crook of their arm, and then washing their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds. They are also providing ample opportunities for hand washing and/or usage of hand sanitizer throughout the school day.

Additionally, I have been in close communications with our Deans who are working closely with the faculty to ensure that an Academic Plan will be ready to execute should we encounter a prolonged school closing (week or more). This plan will be dynamic, and teachers have already begun to engage the process.

NSCS would like to encourage Parent support in these specific ways;

  1. Please do NOT send your child to school if they have a cough or runny nose. We want toremain extra vigilant during this especially difficult flu and virus season.
  1. Please do NOT send your child to school if they have been symptomatic with flu-likesymptoms, vomiting, or fever in the past 24 hours – they MUST be symptom free for at least24 hours before returning to school.
  1. If you feel lead to purchase hand sanitizer, tissues, rubber gloves, face masks, or hand soap that has disinfectant properties we would welcome these donations as we work to secure that we have an ample supply on hand at all times.
  1. If you have traveled within the US or abroad, please check with the Centers for DiseaseControl and Prevention to view information regarding travel bans and updates, precautions, and actions needed should you or family have traveled to areas that are consider at risk. You can find this information on their website at wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.
  1. Please continue pray for this global and dynamic situation. In times like this we have the blessed opportunity to interceded through prayer and press into Jesus. He is faithful all the time.

As is always the case, I am available should you have questions, concerns, or suggestions.

To God Be the Glory,

Pam Heintz, Head of School

 

March 10, 2020 COVID-19 Letter from HOS

Dear NSCS Families,

As you read this letter, please keep its content in perspective.  It is loaded with a lot of protocol and cancelations.  It is easy to read a letter like this one and have a bit of dread settle in.  This certainly is not my intention.  Our number one priority as a school is the safety and well-being of every student, faculty, and staff member.  As we seek to set protocol and practices in place to best accomplish this objective, we feel confident that we are also protecting our students’ families, and in doing so we are playing an active part in helping the broader communities as we all seek to limit the spread of COVID-19.

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread around the globe, throughout the country, and closer to home in our own state and neighboring communities, NSCS has remained engaged as we continue to monitor the dynamic nature of the situation.  In doing so, the school Board and administration have made some decisions out of an abundance of caution.

I want to be clear that we have not heard of any COVID-19 cases, or any pending cases, or of any risks posed to our learning community.   Again, these decisions have strictly been made out of an abundance of caution.

Below is a list of decisions that have been made by the Board and administration that will go into effect immediately:

  • Any parent or guardian of a North Shore Christian School student or any NSCS student who has come in contact with a person known to have or is suspected to have COVID-19 should notify HOS Pam Heintz and self-quarantine at home for 14 days.
  • Any parent or guardian of a North Shore Christian School student or any NSCS student who has traveled out of the country or has traveled within the country to any areas that have high COVID-19 cases, should notify HOS Pam Heintz.  You and your child/ren may be asked to self-quarantine at home for 14 days, depending on the situation.

Out of an abundance of caution we are asking that parents and guardians keep all children home from school;

  • if they are exhibiting flu-like symptoms with or without a fever
  • has a cough or significant runny nose, which is not allergy related or related to other medical or health reasons
  • has had a fever, vomiting, flu, or flu-like symptoms within the past 24-hour span

All teachers have been asked to cancel all upcoming field trips.

*Please note, the FUN RUN, scheduled for March 12th and 13th has been postponed.  Detailed information will be forthcoming.  We will have regular school days on both of these days. 

 The Chick fil-A fundraiser scheduled for March 12th is optional.  Families should make their own decision as to whether to attend or not, as they feel comfortable.

The Spring Semi-Formal Dance scheduled for March 21st for grades 5-8 has been cancelled.

We will inform the Robotics’ Team members in a separate correspondence, as to the status of their travel to the World’s competition.

If you feel led to purchase hand sanitizer, tissues, rubber gloves, or hand soap we would welcome these donations as we work to ensure that we have an ample supply on hand at all times.

To obtain up-to-date information about COVID-19 please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html) as well as visiting the Massachusetts Government website(https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19).

Ways we are working at school to ensure your child’s well-being:

Teachers will begin to show videos that demonstrate proper handwashing to all students.  Students will watch these videos either in their classrooms or during homeroom for the upper grades.   The videos are designed for the various grade levels.  The links to these videos are listed below.

Teachers will continue to disinfect all the hard surfaces of their classrooms at the close of each day.  Our custodial crew will continue adding an additional layer of disinfecting on all our campuses.

Teachers will continue to;

  • remind all students to cough or sneeze into the crook of their arm or use a tissue, followed by washing their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds
  • remind all students to refrain from sharing food or drinks with others
  • provide ample time for handwashing throughout the day

Additionally, teachers are prepared to send school work home with students should it be determined that a prolonged school closure (a week or more) is warranted.

Please note, that as this situation remains dynamic, we will adjust and respond accordingly.  This may entail making new decisions or altering decisions that have been made, such as; lifting our request to self-quarantine and allowing field trips.  We will continue to communicate with our families as things change and as we receive more information.

As we navigate this difficult and dynamic global situation, we will continue to trust God with all things.  He is a good and faithful God, who loves his children with a relentless love – We can trust Him fully!

As always, never hesitate to stop by my office, call me, or email (pheintz@nschristian.org) if you have any questions or concerns.

With Every Blessing,

Pam Heintz, Head of School

Links to the handwashing videos that will be shown in the various classrooms

February 29, 2020 COVID-19 Letter from HOS

Dear NSCS Parents,

Your children’s health and safety are among our top priority.  In fact, this past week two of our faculty members attended an intensive training through ALICE (click here to learn more https://www.alicetraining.com).  ALICE is an emergency response preparedness training.  Over 80% of our staff and faculty have already completed an online training this past winter in preparation for a broader and more detailed training that will take this place this spring.

Our students’ wellbeing is always paramount in our planning.  With that said, given the recent situation that is of global-focus with the Coronavirus Infectious Disease identified in Winter 2019, our Administrative Team has begun to conceptualize a plan that will go into effect as early as this week.  To stay abreast of the COVID-19 situation you can visit www.cdc.gov/coreonavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.  Additionally, I am keeping a very close eye on how local schools are preparing for and managing day-to-day concerns around the COVID-19.

While the potential for possible exposure in our community may be limited right now, we do not want to assume that this will remain the case.   NSCS administration has received guidance from a medical personnel from one of our local colleges who is on the frontlines of assisting parents and students around this current pandemic and is working closely with NSCS to help us ensure that the steps we are taking to limit the spread of any and all germs are the appropriate ones.

Here are the steps the school will be immediately taking;

  • Each afternoon all teachers will disinfect their classroom’s hard surfaces with a product that kills 99.9% of germs.
  • Each classroom, bathroom, and various rooms throughout the buildings on all of our campuses will have an ample supply of hand sanitizer available.
  • Students will be encouraged to wash their hands often throughout the day using soap and rubbing hands under water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
  • Students will be reminded that when coughing and sneezing that they are to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or cough or sneeze into their sleeve and immediately wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Students will be encouraged to refrain from touching their mouths and noses, and if they do so they will be encouraged to wash their hands.
  • Students will be asked not to share food or snacks.

Our custodial staff has been asked to perform a deep disinfect several times/week and as the situation with COVID-19 persists.

Here are the steps we are asking Parents to immediately take;

Inform school administration of any upcoming or recent international travel.

Please keep your child at home if they have a runny nose, fever, cough, or you suspect that they are under the weather.  We desire to keep all germs at bay during this flu season.

Ensure that your child receives plenty of sleep and remains physically active, help your child to manage stress, have them drink plenty of water and fluids, as well as eating nutritious food.

Report any flu symptoms to your health care provider.

Here are the future steps the School will take in the event the situation necessitates such;

NSCS will have school closures if the CDC or local officials request and/or require that such an action is necessary – we will do so for the short-term and long-term – as long as we are instructed by the CDC or other local officials to do so.

Should the School have prolonged closures (a week or more) teachers will have prepared school work for grades Kindergarten – 8th that will be ready to be set home.

For the various grade-bands (K-2, 3-5, and Middle School) school work may include assignment packets, assignments communicated through Google Classroom, videos prepared by your child’s classroom teacher, and/or emailed assignments.

Text books, workbooks, and other school supplies will be sent home with the students if the need be.

Administration will communicate daily with families as to the status of the School closure and any pertinent information.

While we are all praying that God in his divine mercy would spare the world of prolonged and devasting effects due to the COVID-19 virus, we trust that He is sovereign.  It is my sincerest desire that you all would continue to pray for those around the globe who are struggling with the effects of COVID-19.  I believe that God often allows difficult situations to come across our paths so that we can be strengthened in our faith as we learn to trust Him more.

Please never hesitate to reach out to me regarding this matter, or any matter if you need further clarification or have questions.  Also, if you have further suggestions, that can be added to those mentioned above, I would welcome your feedback.

As always, it is a joy for me to serve NSCS and to associate with such extraordinary children and families!

To God be the Glory,

Pam Heintz, Head of School

basketball on the bench

Athletics in Lynn – Going Strong All Year.

By Todd McMillian, Middle School Social Studies

“What Team? North Shore! What Team? North Shore!! What Team? North Shore!!!” These words became the NSCS Girls Basketball team chant. It revved them up during a game and brought them closer as a team.

basketball on the benchThe girls basketball team, led by coaches Ari Ramsarran and Lily Rivera had a new starting lineup this year due to last year’s 8th grade graduates moving on to high school. The girls enjoyed friendships and experiences on and off the court, and improved week by week as the season progressed from its start in mid November through its end in late February. 7thgirls basketball grade team members included Cynthia Muriithi, Jade McMillan, Anastasia Mason, and Eliana Grullon. 6th grade members included Violet Saia, Danielle Nalesnik, Tiffany Dorsey and Akeelah Osun. 5th grade members included Kaylee Ashley and Shannon Ashley. We look forward to seeing what this team can achieve next year with a full slate of returning players.

The boys basketball team, led by coaches Alan Nahigian and Evan Betti, have laid down a solid foundation for the years ahead. The boys really enjoyed being a part of the program, worked hard in practices, and competed well in every game. The team will graduate 8th grade team members Matti W’Gebriel, McLaren Cook, and Sebastiano Di Modica. 7th grade boys basketballteam members include Isaac Portugal, Reid Smith, and Matthew Stuart. 6th grade members included Jayden Kelly and Daniel Brown. 5th grade members included Noah Thomas, Ian Bogertman, Josh DeSouza, Brendan Sharwood, and Alex Zemlyansky. Walter Ainsworth served tirelessly as the boys team manager, helping out with any needs during practices and by manning the stat book during games.

In other athletics news, NSCS is starting a co-ed Spring Track and Field Team! The program will be led by Miss Corinne Previte. Miss Previte is USATF Level 1 and 2 certified in sprints and jumps. She currently coaches at Gordon College along with teaching 5th grade at NSCS. Track and Field team members will experience different events that include distance, sprints, jumps, throws, relays and more! More details coming soon!

 

Robotics team in action

Big Wins Qualify Lynn School Teams for Robotics World Championships

LYNN – North Shore Christian School wins the Southern New England VEX IQ Robotics Championship.

NSCS sent two teams to the VEX IQ Robotics State Championship held at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester and brought home two wins. The middle school Steam Punks, consisting of 8th grade students, McLaren Cook (Wenham), Mattias W’Gebriel (Saugus), Sebastiano Dimodica (Saugus) & 7th grader Matthew Chatterton (Lynn) won the Premier Event at the Teamwork Challenge Alliance Competition.  The elementary Brobots, consisting of elementary students Ralph Gerber (Peabody), Brendon Sharwood (Saugus), Nicholas Saia (Saugus) & Gabriel Barbosa (Lynn) placed highest in their division based upon their total cumulative score in all qualifying competitions. The Steam Punks and Bros will travel to the Robotics World Championships in Kentucky April 26-28th. 

March Steam Punks Win Coach David Cook said, “In addition to all the hands-on learning that goes into designing and building the robots, these tournaments provide a microcosm of real-life experiences for our kids. They have to make complex decisions quickly, under pressure and in front of large crowds. These kids not only discover what they are capable of technically, they also learn how to work in teams, how to win well and how to lose well, what it means to encourage and to be encouraged. The program is as much about building character as it is about building robots.”           

Building on critical skills students develop in the KnowAtom science curriculum, NSCS began the robotics program because they believe the best way to instill a lifelong interest in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) is to provide fun, engaging, and hands-on opportunities to explore and experience these for themselves. By its nature, robotics inherently incorporates all four pillars of STEM. March Bros win

This clean sweep for both the middle school and elementary school divisions of the invitation-only Southern New England Region put NSCS firmly on the map as a high-quality STEM school on the North Shore and in Massachusetts.

For more information, contact Jill VanderWoude, 781-599-2040.

 

History Fair

An Evening of Remaking History

By Liz MacDavitt, 3rd/4th grade teacher

On February 10, 2020 NSCS Beverly celebrated our students’ hard work at the History Fair. It was quite the celebration of what students have been learning this year, with projects representing “The History of Me” (K), “Famous Americans” (1/2), “Fifty Nifty States Parade of Floats” (3/4), “The Civil War” (5/6), and “Unsung Heroes of the American Revolution” (7). Students in all grades worked so hard to produce high quality projects and focused their in-class efforts on strong presentation skills. Parents, extended relatives, and friends enjoyed visiting each class’s displays and revelled in hearing from excited students. The following day, each class visited other classrooms to view each project. This year’s History Fair was a great success!

In 3rd & 4th grade, projects like the “Fifty Nifty States Parade of Floats” allow students to dig deeper into topics studied in class. Students have the freedom to learn more about people, places, and events in history while representing their newfound knowledge in creative and artistic ways. For this project, each student selected one of the 50 states and built a state float to represent important places, natural resources, landmarks, scenic attractions, agriculture, and historical events found in that state. These creative floats were accompanied by a one page essay on their state’s statehood process, or a well-known historical person/event in their state. To add to the fun of this project, students were awarded bonus points for dressing as a famous historical figure or sharing a popular food from their state. All of this hard work and creativity was celebrated the night of the History Fair! Their floats were amazing, eye-catching, unique, colorful, and accurate representations of 25 different states that make up this great country. I was so impressed!

Although projects like this are time consuming and may cause us as teachers to press pause on regularly planned lessons, they are important. Aside from teaching students more about history and their selected topic, this project taught students a great deal about time management as they followed a timeline of due dates, self-starting as they completed the majority of their research outside of the classroom, and that creative, artistic inspirations definitely have a place in the classroom. Some of the steps of this project were new and challenging to some students, but the end results were projects that had been completed carefully and with excellence. As a teacher, I love projects that allow students to display their learning in a variety of creative mediums, and it seems that so many students learn and remember more content when they are given the freedom to create and use their own talents and interests to enhance their schoolwork. This will forever be one of my favorite projects because I can see how seriously students take their research and how much they learn from it as a result. There are older students in this school who had done this project with me in 3rd & 4th grade who still talk about their state float and what they learned! This is a testament to their hard work and to the value of a well-done History Project at NSCS. 

For now, we’re back to regularly planned lessons, which are equally important, but do stay tuned for more creative and exciting projects before this year ends! 

 

Backyard Waterslide Engineering

By Dan Feins, Middle School Science

Engineers ask critical questions about what they want to create, whether it be a skyscraper, amusement park ride, bicycle or smartphone. These questions include: What is the problem to solve? What do we want to design? Who is it for? What do we want to accomplish? What are the project requirements? What are the limitations? What is our goal?

The seventh-grade class at the Beverly campus began an engineering unit in the New Year. After a very brief discussion, the class determined the problem to solve was how can we build a waterslide in our own backyard. Based on previous waterslide experiences, the students’ initial concept was to connect three or four “normal” plastic slides together, support those slides with wooden trusses, and have a long ladder to reach the top. Water would arrive at the top via a series of extension hoses and be deposited at the bottom into a pool.

Practical issues were discussed during the next class. The students were confronted with several issues, most of which involved physics and cost. For example, a person sitting at the top of a waterslide has inertia that they must overcome to start down the slide. Should the water give them a push, or should the person push themselves? Friction needed to be overcome on the way down the slide, and that required more water than could be achieved through a garden hose. And then there was cost. Although no budget had been set at this point, the team knew that money was not going to be unlimited.

Research commenced via Chromebooks. The team determined that a “trash hose” connected to a “trash water pump” would push the water up to the slide and then down the slide with enough pressure to move a person along. Cost comparisons were made in terms of buying or renting the trash water pump. The team leaned in the direction of renting because the waterslide would only be used for certain parts of the year, and even then, on certain days within those parts.

The team took some time to view videos of successful waterslides from around the world and from people’s backyards. The students were struck by one video which showed a backyard waterslide that was built on sloped ground, eliminating the need for plastic slides, a support structure, a ladder, and decreasing the size of trash water pump required. The team was introduced to the most critical aspect of engineering: it is an iterative process, meaning that we repeat the steps as many times as needed, making improvements along the way as we learn from failure and uncover new design possibilities to arrive at great solutions

At the next class meeting the old design was scrapped in favor of one that could be built along the ground and run down a hill. The students drafted up some designs and settled on a waterslide that twists and turns and would run the length of the hill, culminating in a shallow pool at the end. During the next class, with some students out due to illness, one of the students worked on their prototype. After several valiant attempts to construct a twisting and turning waterslide, it became evident that such a construction may not be possible for their prototype, given the materials at hand, and it may in fact be prohibitively difficult for full scale construction as well.

The next couple of classes the students turned their attention to building a linear waterslide. Tests of the waterslide were made using water from a pitcher poured down the slide from the top. The students quickly learned that creating a leak proof waterslide required a lot of work and attention to detail. But having stopped the leaks, the next test involved a scale stand-in model (a Playmobile figure) to start at the top of the slide and move down the slide with the flowing water from the pitcher and end in the shallow pool. Several iterations followed as the figure was stuck at the top of the slide or became stuck as it moved down the slide.

The students persevered until the plastic figure completed a transit of the waterslide on three separate trial runs. Success! But now could this be built in the backyard of one of the students? A site was chosen, and the student brought in pictures of where the waterslide Dan's Blogwas to be lodged. Unfortunately, the nature of the incline and the lighting at the time the photos were taken made it difficult to visualize how the waterslide was going to work in that area. There was also the matter of potential environmental issues if the area was going to be dug up and subjected to inordinary amounts of water and foot traffic. The students and the teacher decided that a trip to the proposed waterslide site was warranted.

The class set off a bright and cold February morning to the house of one the students. There, we were welcomed into the student’s home by her mother who gave us a brief tour, including a visit with the resident velvety soft rabbit and working cat. Once in the backyard, we walked the terrain upon which the student had done some preliminary clearing. This made it easy for us to measure the length of the hill (90 feet) and take some Dan's Blogsoil and leaf samples for analysis after February break. We returned to the house to warm ourselves with some freshly baked cinnamon bread. We said our goodbyes to the bunny, the cat, and mom, and returned to the school.

In the best tradition of engineering, the students now have new questions: will the results of the soil and leaf testing be in favor of construction? How much it will cost to build a 90-foot waterslide? How much water pressure do you need to move a person from the top to the bottom? What happens to all that water in the pool at the end of the waterslide? Will Mom and Dad really want to build a 90-foot waterslide in their backyard? Fortunately for the students, engineering is an iterative process, so a “no” at any of those points does not necessarily mean the project needs to be cancelled, only reimagined.

         

Rock Cycle extra credit

Extra Credit Leads to Extra Learning

By Taylor Morris, 3/4 Grade Teacher

Throughout the school year students are given the opportunity to do extra credit projects on a variety of topics. These extra credit projects allow students to dig deeper to extend their learning. Each project has multiple options so that even within the project different learning styles can be utilized. Extra credit also gives students a chance to fully understand a topic that our curriculum may only touch briefly on. This can be helpful for high achieving students who want to expand their knowledge on a topic and go further with a concept. It also gives students who struggle with a unit a second chance to understand the material taught through a second deeper look at information. All of these projects are optional but encouraged for each student.Blog, Rock Cycle

So far this year students have been given three extra credit options. While learning about the Earth’s Surface in science, students were able to further their learning by choosing a project about the rock cycle. Students were able to choose to make a comic book explaining parts of the rock cycle or to write an essay about how the rock cycle worked. Students then shared their work with the class.

In Social Studies students learned a bit about the civil war and were able to further their learning by choosing an extra credit project of making a recipe, drawing a picture, making a timeline, defining words, or writing about important figures in Civil War times. Students who picked a recipe then made the recipe and shared it with the class. Finally this year students have had the option of reading a book related to what we are learning in social studies or science. They are able to connect the book to our unit and share what they have learned about the book and what they enjoyed about it. 

Civil war extra credit                Abe Lincoln extra credit

Students have found that while these projects can add a boost to their grade, they are also enjoyable. When students turn in their work they are excited to share it with their classmates and likewise their classmates are excited to see what each participant has produced. Students who do these projects are able to more fully explain what we are learning in their own words to each other. 

 

NSCS Lynn Robotics Team Wins Again!

LYNN, MA — On Saturday February 1st, North Shore Christian School’s Lynn Robotics Club students competed in their third Southern New England VEX IQ Robotics tournament, hosted by Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The middle school Steam Punks Team brought home the victory, competing against 22 other middle and elementary schools to win both the Teamwork Champion Award and the Robot Skills Champion Award. The team scored 107 and 114 points respectively, achieving record-breaking totals for their region.

The Competition consists of seven match play events during which teams must use their Steam Punksrobots to complete specific tasks within one minute. Ten teams are paired together to battle it out in the Final rounds, one of which was the Steam Punks Team. During the Finals, the Steam Punks, with their partner team from Hopkinton, were the last team to compete and had to top a record-breaking score in order to claim the Teamwork Champion Award. The Steam Punks also earned the number 1 spot in the VEX IQ Southern New England Skills rankings.  The team consists of seventh-grader Matthew Chatterton of Lynn, and eighth graders, Sebastiano Dimodica of Saugus, Matias W’Gebriel of Saugus, and McLaren Cook of Wenham.

NSCS’s elementary school team, The Bros, were awarded their second Judge’s Award this season, which is a special commendation for exemplary effort and perseverance in the face of unexpected setbacks during the event and for design and programming that exemplifies the future of Engineering and Robotics. The Bros have earned the number one skills ranking among the elementary schools teams in the Southern New England region.

The BrosThe Bros consists of fourth graders Nicholas Saia of Saugus, Ralph Gerber of Peabody, Gabriel Barbosa of Lynn, and fifth grader, Brendon Sharwood of Saugus.

Both the Steam Punks and the Bros scored skills points for programming their robots to operate via remote control and autonomously, a complicated programming feat for students new to this arena.

Coach David Cook notes “It’s amazing how the kids’ love of math and science blossoms when they get to apply it in the real world. It’s particularly powerful for students who Robotics Awardstruggle with these subjects in school to see for themselves how much they can achieve.”

All three of North Shore Christian Schools Robotics teams have qualified to advance to the Massachusetts/Rhode Island State Finals in Worcester on February 29th.  Winners of the state finals proceed to the World Competition in Louisville, Kentucky, in April.

For more information, contact Patti Cook, 781-599-2040

Rooted in historical evangelical Christian faith, North Shore Christian School, in concert with family and church, seeks to be a community that provides challenging elementary and secondary education. Through academic and biblical instruction, we strive to nurture each student’s learning and thinking, and equip them to serve God within their local communities and around the world. North Shore Christian School has campuses in Beverly, Lynn and Hamilton.