Bement Look Ahead

For the Week of August 18, 2014


Updated August 19, 2014



Greetings From Head of School, Shelley Jackson:   Please read Shelley Jackson's welcome message here.





First Day of School:  Classes begin on Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 8:10 a.m.  Opening day is a regular school dress day.


Dress Code: Questioning what is acceptable dress code at Bement?  This will be sure to answer your questions!


Blazer Exchange:  Do you need a navy Bement blazer for Monday dress?  Do you have one (or 2 or 3...) that your child has outgrown and you'd like to trade for a new one?  Come to the blazer exchange on Wednesday, September 3 from 12:00 -3:00 pm!  If you have a blazer to exchange, your new blazer is free!  If you are seeking a blazer without a trade, it's just $7. Such the deal!  We all like to start the new school year off fresh and request your blazers be neat and clean for exchange.  


Health Forms Were Due August 1:  All students are required to have complete health forms on file before the start of school.  If you have not sent in your child's health forms already, click here to download,  print, and return the forms to Marty Smith in the business office as soon as possible. If you cannot schedule a physical exam for your child before school starts because of insurance restrictions, please just send us the date and time of your child's appointment and submit the completed healthcare providers report once your child is seen. 


Photos:  There are many times on campus where one of our Bement photogrpahers (aka: beloved teachers!) will capture a moment of your child in a beautiful photograph.  These photos may be used in either our Family Directory, our yearly magazine entitled The Bulletin, our school website, press releases, or other Bement publications.   Please contact Julia Flannery by September 1 if you do not want your child photographed.  413-774-4209 or (or stop in!)


Eric Carle Museum Passes:  Looking for something fun to do during these last few weeks of summer?  The office of admission has a few passes left for Bement families wishing to visit this picture book art museum in Amherst.  Please stop by of office to pick up the passes!




A Message from Carole Pennock, Head of Lower School:    Please read Carole's message here.


Lower School Orientation Day:  Wednesday, September 3 from 12:30-2:30 is our lower school orientation and open house.  The schedule can be found here.


Band Information for All 4th Grade Families:  An important message from Jim Snedeker, Bement band director can be found here.


Band Information for New 5th Grade Families:  An important message from Jim Snedeker, Bement band director can be found here.








A Message from Head of Upper School Dean Fusto:  The upper school faculty and staff are eager to welcome you to the 2014-2015 school year! Although summer is winding down, our anticipation and excitement for the opening day of school is visible everywhere. Teachers are hard at work finalizing curriculum and preparing their classrooms. Toni Costa, upper school administrative assistant, and I are putting the finishing touches on the fall academic schedule and planning September events. Sometimes the days leading up to the opening of school can be frenzied for parents and students, but please know that we are always here to help field any questions or assuage any concerns. We want your transition to be seamless. The Look Ahead and Bement website are the best avenues for staying in the loop on all announcements, schedules, events, and other important details. In addition, Toni and I are available via email, phone, or personal visit for any lingering questions that you might have. In order to kick start the opening of the school year, I thought it would be helpful to remind you of some very important logistical details:


Advisor Assignments:  In late August, typically the final week, you will receive a welcome message of introduction from your child’s advisor. The communication may come as a written note, email, or even a surprise phone call. Once you hear from your advisor for the 2014-2015 school year, do not hesitate to reach out to them with any questions. The advisor is one of your main points of contact for the daily social and academic life of your son and daughter. As such, he or she is always ready to be of support.


New Student Orientation:  Please note that "new" denotes all students that are new to the upper school.  This includes each rising 6th grader who was in Bement's lower school last year.  The new student orientation is on Wednesday, September 3 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and includes lunch and snacks. We will begin our meeting in the Grace Bement Reading Room in the library at 10:00.  The orientation period from 10:00 - 2:00 is for students only, but will be followed by a new parent information session from 2:00 - 3:00 in the Tim Young Meeting Room located in the Kittredge Building. Any parent who is new to the upper school (including parents of 6th graders who attended Bement in the 5th grade) is invited to attend. During our hour together, you will be introduced to most members of the upper school faculty and have a chance to meet your child's advisor and teachers. 


Academic Class Schedules:  Returning students will receive a class schedule on the first day of school. All students new to the upper school (including students who were in the Bement 5th grade class last year) will receive their fall term schedules during the Wednesday, September 3 orientation session. 


Textbook Questions: All textbooks are distributed by teachers in their respective classes during the initial class meeting. If you have specific questions regarding textbooks or the availability of used or online texts, please contact department chairs directly. In general, there is limited availability of used texts and those that are available will be on a "first come, first serve" basis. Please note department chair names and their contact information below:


MATH:  Madeline Surgenor -

HISTORY: Katrina Spicer -

ENGLISH: Amie Keddy -

SCIENCE: In science, all workbooks are new in grades 6, 7, 8, 9 and no used texts are available


FINE ARTS: Deb Stewart-Pettengill-









The fall athletic schedule is posted here.  Please check it regularly in the case of a rescheduled or canceled game.





A Message from New PA President, Lisa Kittredge:   Hello and welcome back from summer vacation all parents!  Here at Bement, all parents are members of the Parents Association.  In my family, we encourage team spirit and ask that everyone chip in to help make everyone's job easier and more fun!  One of the assets that Bement offers is a warm family and community environment, so I am reaching out to all parents to please consider helping a little this year and make the planned school events easier and more fun!  There are many ways to be involved in the Bement Community.  Please email to put your name on our volunteer list and let us know what you are interested in sharing with your time and talents.  We are grateful for everyone's contribution to making Bement the great school it is for our children.


All-School Family Picnic: This festive, community-building annual event will be on Friday, September 12 from 4:30-6:30pm here on campus--rain or shine.  This is an awesome community event to catch up with old friends and meet new ones!  It's a delicious potluck dinner, please bring a dish that serves 10 to share (salad, casserole, cold cuts...).   Our Parents Association will provide drinks and desserts.  Remember that we have a nut-free policy at Bement too!  Hope to see you there!







Monday Dress: Remember to wear Monday Dress on Monday, September 8. Consult the family handbook for a detailed description of specific dress for girls and boys.


Upcoming Dates: Full school calendar is here.


September 2                      Boarders arrive and registration 1:00-4:00 p.m.

September 3                      Boarder orientation
                                        New Upper School Student Orientation 10:00 a.m.- 2:00
                                        Lower School Orientation and Open House 12:30-2:30 p.m.
                                        New Upper School Parent Meeting 2:00-3:00 p.m.
                                        Blazer Exchange and School Store 12:00-3:00 p.m.
September 4                      Classes begin
September 12                     All-School Picnic 4:30-6:30 p.m.
October 10                         Parents Day 8 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
October 13                         No classes
October 25                         Fall Bazaar and Pancake Breakfast
October 26                         New Parent Dinner
November 7                        Author and Illustrator Day
November 21                      Thanksgiving Vacation 1:45 dismissal LS/ 2 p.m. dismissal US
December 2                       Classes resume
December 19                            December vacation 1:45 dismissal LS/ 2 p.m. dismissal US
January 4                           Boarders Return 4:00-6:00 p.m.
January 5                                  Classes resume
January 18                         Skating and Basketball Party 4:00-6:30 p.m.
February 5                                Long weekend 1:45 dismissal LS/ 2 p.m. dismissal US
February 10                              Classes resume
March 6                                     Spring vacation  1:45 dismissal LS/ 2 p.m. dismissal US
March 29                            Boarders Return 4-6 p.m.
March 30                                   Classes resume
April 20                             No classes
May 8                                Spring Fling
May 22                                       Grandparents Day 12 p.m. dismissal
May 25                                       Memorial Day Celebration 12:45 p.m. dismissal
June 3                                       Final day of classes 1:45 dismissal LS/ 2 p.m. dismissal US
June 4                                       Baccalaureate (Attendance required) 4:00 p.m.
June 5                                       Commencement (Attendance required) 10:30 a.m.




Lower School Head Welcome:  Please read this message from Carole Pennock regarding important information regarding lower school next year, including new student and new parent orientation dates and times.
Grades Are Ready:  End-of-year grades are ready and are posted in NetClassroom.  If you have any questions, please contact Emily Lent at
Summer Reading:  Do you have a voracious reader at home?  Want to encourage one?  Marcia Bernard, Bement's stellar school librarian, has compiled a great resource for you that can be found here.




Upper School Head Welcome:  Please read this message from Dean Fusto regarding important information regarding upper school next year, including new student and new parent orientation dates and times. 


Summer Reading:  New students should select any book from this list, read it over the summer, and in the fall, they should bring their book to school and they will join a faculty-lead book group. There is no formal writing assignment. 


School Supplies:  Recognizing that many families like to get a jump start on the purchase of school supplies, upper school teachers have helped to create a list to help guide your purchases. Click here to view the list. Although the list is comprehensive, it doesn’t include supplies that are unique to an individual teacher’s requests. During opening week, all students will learn if there are additional items necessary for a given class.


Music Selections:   Mrs. Stewart-Pettengill, arts department chair, coordinates all of the upper school arts programs. If you are a student new to the upper school, please email your musical choice and direct any arts-related questions to Mrs. Stewart-Pettengill at the following email address:

- Musical choices for 6th grade are band or strings.  All 6th grade students participate in one term of choral music in addition to their instrumental choice.

- Musical choices for 7th, 8th & 9th grades include band (includes brass and woodwinds), strings, or choral music.  Please email choice by July 19.





Upcoming Dates: Full school calendar is here.

September 2                      Boarders arrive and registration 1:00-4:00 p.m.
September 3                      Boarder orientation
                                        New Upper School Student Orientation
                                        Lower School Orientation and Open House
                                        New Upper School Parent Meeting
September 4                      Classes begin