From the Dean of Academics
Both faculty and students are thrilled to have successfully completed Term II exams and to have begun Term III in earnest. This year, rather than taking alternative assessments in all classes in February, the students will take two alternative exams per term, and this term’s alternative exams were given in math and science classes. For example, in Ms. Gilmore’s Statistics class, the students created games which demonstrated the difference between theoretical and experimental probability. The class particularly enjoyed using play money to make wagers on horses in a racing game that one student designed! Ms. Gilmore’s Algebra II students created a mathematical worksheet with 15-20 multiple choice questions based on research conducted about influential women. As the students completed each other’s worksheets, they gained insight into the various women’s lives and importance.
For her Biology alternative exam, Mrs. Waugh’s students researched the cause, symptoms, and prognosis of a genetic disease or disorder and presented their findings to their classmates. Her Environmental Science class presented projects highlighting student research on effects of population growth in a developing or industrialized country of their choice.
Black History Month was celebrated this year in a marvelous stage production written by Monique Neal and staged by the Black Awareness Club under Christine Gilmore’s direction on the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Admission Open House. On Saturday, February 25, several students also went to a diversity workshop at Woodberry Forest School called “Taking the Lead” with keynote speaker, Mohammed Bilal, an internationally known diversity consultant, musician, and poet.
The arts were showcased throughout the month of February. The Winter Dance Concert took place on February 10 and the spring portion of the 2011-2012 Oldfields School Concert Series was launched by The Johns Hopkins Gospel Choir on the evening of February 17. Our annual Arts Week, imaginatively organized by the visual and performing arts departments, took place during the last week of February. The students had the pleasure of attending a myriad of assemblies featuring not only Oldfields students in the Winter Music Assembly, the Talent Showcase, and an evening Coffee House, but also local talent such as The Anne Arundel Community College Opera Company, a dance group called Urban Artistry, and improv group, “Waiting to Be Called Over.”
In other academic news, Mrs. Littlefield and Dr. Yeager took their 20th Century World History students to Washington, D.C. to the Holocaust Memorial Museum and the World War II Memorial on February 9. The following week, they also took a large group of students to participate in the annual two-day Model United Nations conference, which is also held in Washington. Over the weekend of February 24-26, Director of College Guidance Cortney Bledsoe participated in a writer’s conference hosted by the Secondary School Admission Test Board in Sarasota, FL in an effort to compile new test questions for the SSAT, the premier test given to students seeking admission to independent schools across the country. SSATB selected 74 test writers based on their experience, education, and subject matter expertise, and we are honored that Mr. Bledsoe was selected.
As you can see, though February is the shortest month of the year, the Oldfields community took advantage of every single day, including Leap Day!