Bement Look Ahead

For the Week of September 29, 2014


Updated September 26, 2014



Family Handbook/Field Trip Permission Forms In August you should have received the Family Handbook.  In that packet was a signature page which needed to be returned to Bement by September 12.  Please note that this form not only acknowledges that you and your child have read the Family Handbook together, but allows your child to attend Bement field trips.  If you need another form, please contact Toni Costa at Thank you.


Ballet at Bement:  Julia Chen, mother of Amelia'15 and Ben'17, will be offering ballet classes at Bement in January.  Julia graduated from Beijing Dance Academy, was a member of the National Ballet Company of China, and has been a ballet teacher for nearly 20 years in Beijing, Connecticut, and Hong Kong. There will be no fee for the classes.  Instead, Julia graciously asks that you donate what you would pay for ballet tuition to Bement's Annual Fund.  Learn more here.  Schedule may change before classes begin in January.


Assignment / Planner Update:  This past spring we worked hard to design a new assignment book / planner that would better serve the needs of our students and stand up to the rugged use the book gets on a daily basis.  As some of you may have noticed, the new books came with a binding that did not hold up under normal use.  Because we had sourced these books locally through Hadley Printing, we were able to address this issue immediately.  Last Friday, Claudette Pelletier came to pick up all of the books so that the bindings could be replaced by one with a better design, free of charge.  The books were returned to school on Friday afternoon, and they were in the kids' hands on Monday morning.  We appreciate your patience, and we appreciate Hadley Printing making the changes so quickly!


‘Tis the Season:  The beginning of autumn also means the beginning of cold and flu season.  This is a time of year when we see an increase in respiratory viral illnesses and our students have been together just long enough to begin to see lots of stuffy noses and coughs at school. To help minimize the spread of cold and flu viruses on campus, please keep the following in mind:

1.     If you are sick, stay home.

2.     Wash your hands after using the bathroom, blowing your nose, or coughing/sneezing into your hands. Also wash your hands before eating.  Soap and water hand washing is preferred over hand sanitizers.

3.     Do not share cups, utensils, or anything that goes in the mouth.

4.     Get your flu shot or nasal spray vaccine every year.

5.     Please review the Return to School After Illness guidelines on page 52 of your Family Handbook.



Speaking of Flu Shots:  We anticipate offering flu vaccine at school sometime this fall.  We have not yet received confirmation about when our vaccine will arrive. Day families are encouraged to get their children vaccinated as soon as possible at a flu clinic in your community.  When our vaccine arrives, boarders will be first priority and any remaining vaccine will be available to day students.  Flu sign up sheets will be sent out once we know when our flu clinic will be held.  Please note that we will be offering the flu shot only. If you would like your child to receive flumist (nasal spray), please contact your child’s health care provider.






Thank You Lunch Bunch:  We had a record number of parents sign up for Lunch Bunch this year...thank you so much!  There are three groups, and each one will be helping out every three weeks.  The groups are called A, B, and C, and you will find your group and schedule for the fall term here. In addition, we will print your group and your name here in the Look Ahead on the Friday before you are scheduled.  Finally, here is a list of Lower School Lunch Guidelines for you to read.  Rest assured that the students at your table (which will always include your own child) will be more than happy to tell you the "rules"...and what you are doing wrong!  Again, many thanks for signing up!  


Next Week's Lunch Bunch Group:  On Friday, October 3 we start with Group A (Flack, Melnik, Paasch, Gagne, McCarthy, Volchanskaya, Fournier, and Fraser). If you are new to the Lunch Bunch, please come a few minutes early (11:20) for some last minute instructions from Mrs. Pennock.  Otherwise, we'll see you at 11:30!


Third Grade Field Trip:  Third grade will be traveling to the Montshire Museum of Science on Tuesday, September 30.  Students will be participating in the Clouds and Condensation Workshop.  Students should pack a snack, bag lunch, and beverage to bring with them.  Reminders about packed lunches can be found on page 34 of the Family Handbook


Drakesters on the Move:  In celebration of our first month of school, Drake building students will have an afternoon of fun and games at Ms. Jackson's house on October 3.  Drakesters will have lunch at school and will return at 3:00 in time for pick-up.  


4/5 Grade Band:  The Flying Dolphins and #DontCallVerizon have band practice on Friday, so please bring your musical instruments to school.









Parent Conference Night for 6th & 7th Grade Parents:  On Wednesday, September 24, you should have received an email to sign up for conferences to be held on the evening of October 9.  Please email your requests back to or let us know if you did not receive the email.


Grades:  The first tri-weekly of the fall term has ended, and grades and comments will be posted to Net Classroom on Thursday, October 2 by 5:00 p.m. If you have any problems accessing reports, please contact Lizzie Doubleday at or at extension 106.
New Boarding Families:  In order to access your child's grades and teacher comments on Netclassroom, you will need a username and password.  These will be sent to you, however if you do not receive it by the time grades are posted on October 2, please contact Lizzie Doubleday at

One-on-One Advisor/Advisee Tri-Weekly Chats:  At the conclusion of each tri-weekly period (every 3 weeks), the upper school sets aside time to allow advisors to meet privately with each advisee to discuss all aspects of the grade report. Their conversations are often centered around encouraging student reflection on teacher comments and corresponding letter and effort grades. In addition, many advisors use this time to help advisees craft short-term and long-term academic goals.









Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner:  Bement's dining room menu can be found here.







Fifth grader, Grace, will treat us to a piano performance at Friday morning meeting (10/3) in the Barn at 8:10. Join us, if you can!






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








Everyday Shopping Can Help the PA: The Bement Parents Association wants to spread the word about some easy ways to help Bement without spending extra money.  Last year your shopping for everyday items earned $414.64 for the PA to contribute to Bement. Thank you to everyone who contributed.  Click here to check out the retailers who offer "free" money to organizations like the Bement Parents Association.  


Fall Bazaar:  On Saturday, October 25, join us for Bement's annual Fall Bazaar!  A large tag sale, ninth grade fundraising pancake breakfast, bake sale, fun run, and more, all will happen here on campus!  Learn more about the event and how you can be involved here.










Upper School Math & Science Club:  The Math/Science Club will meet in Ms Surgenor's room (Upper School Building), each Friday from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm. We are currently working on math competition problem sets from MathCounts. In the past, we have worked on math puzzles, rubrix cubes, Lego robots, scientific experiments like making & eating liquid nitrogen ice-cream. All upper schoolers are welcome! Any question or suggestion, please have your child contact Victoria Bagley (8th grade).


Final Day of Deb Stewart-Pettengill's Art Show:  If you haven't had an opportunity to see Deb's art how at the UMass Hampden Gallery, it closes on Tuesday, September 30, so hurry in!   


See•Hear•Feel•Film for Parents: In the fall 2011 Amherst Cinema launched See•Hear•Feel•Film, a five-unit educational program that helps third graders develop the visual and written literacy skills needed to think critically about the images they see every day. We have become a visual society. Teaching our children how to interpret the constant barrage of images on television, film, video, and the Web is one of society’s most pressing educational concerns.  Third graders from the Bement School have been attending this program since it began.  This fall, Amherst Cinema is offering several “Evenings for Education” a free, one-hour demonstration from Education Specialist Jake Meginsky on how this program works.  Come and discover how this program is inspiring your young learners!  Lean more here.




Upcoming Dates: Full school calendar is here.

October 10                         Parents Day 8 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

October 13                         No classes
October 15                         Parents Association Board Meeting 3:00 p.m.
October 22-24                     Eighth Grade Trip to Gettysburg
October 22-23                     Ninth Grade Overnight Camping Trip
October 24                         Sixth Grade Trip to Quabbin Reservoir
October 24                         Seventh Grade Trip to Billings Farm
October 24                         Oktoberfest--Parent Event
October 25                         Fall Bazaar and Pancake Breakfast
November 7                       Author and Illustrator Day
November 12                      Parents Association Board Meeting 7:45 a.m.
November 21                      Thanksgiving Vacation 1:45 dismissal LS/ 2 p.m. dismissal US
December 2                        Classes resume
December 7                        Barnes & Noble Book Fair
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.