Hewitt News

Kindergarteners Explore The Hewitt Community 
Jennifer Errico, Educational Technologist and Lindsey Brown and Maggie Turner, Kindergarten Teachers

Hewitt kindergarteners approach their role as Hewitt's newest community members with fresh eyes, deep curiosity, and lots of enthusiasm. Throughout their first year of school, kindergarteners focus on identity explorations, learning about their larger school community and their own role in that community. As they learn about themselves, they also get to know the people and places that make up Hewitt’s lower school. To help them become more familiar with their classrooms and other learning spaces, kindergarteners collaborated on an interdisciplinary mapmaking project.

The project began with each kindergarten class taking responsibility for researching a different part of the school community. As they learned about their school, students consulted with teachers and drew pictures of classrooms and other important spaces in their building. When a group of kindergarteners decided they wanted to interview faculty members on camera, they went back to their classmates for help brainstorming thoughtful and probing questions. After learning about various elements of video production, including image quality, sound, and framing, they set up their equipment and recorded their subjects. 
 
 
Hewitt kindergarten students grew a great deal over the course of this unit, both in their understanding of what makes a school community as well as in their sense of autonomy and independence. The girls rose to the challenge of managing the many moving pieces of the project and worked as cohesive teams to delegate and share responsibilities. At the end of the project, student drawings, voice recordings, and video interviews were combined into an informative presentation celebrating Hewitt’s lower school community.
 
 
After viewing the students' interactive Prezi presentation, Head of Lower School Frank Patti remarked, "I was delighted and impressed to see how the kindergarteners explored our lower school community so thoughtfully, and how they used technology to share their work in such a fun and informative way."

 

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In Hamlet, Shakespeare wrote, “We know what we are, but we know not what we may be.” Well, I know something of what we are. We’re venturers and friends, students and sisters. Above all, we are Hewitt girls. As we walk out into the next stages of our lives as women, we do so with the immeasurable potential to become anything we want to be.  

Good morning, families, students, colleagues, members of the Board of Trustees, and first among equals, good morning to the Hewitt Class of 2018. Look around you and memorize this moment, your classmates, your families, your teachers, this beautiful place, and the chance to sit quietly just for a little while so you can remember it. 

This April, the Hewitt community gathered to celebrate the opening night of our student-curated art exhibition, Diversity and Identity: The Pieces of Your Puzzle. From thoughtful self-portraits to an interactive world map to a school-wide collaborative mural, each work of art spoke to the exhibition’s theme, recognizing the beauty of the Hewitt community’s diverse perspectives and experiences. 

As most people were just waking up and beginning their morning routines, the 14 members of Hewitt’s varsity tennis team were arriving at the courts ready to practice. The hardworking and passionate team grew incredibly close over the course of the season, making it all the way to the quarterfinals of the AAIS tournament, with an impressive 7-3 record the rest of the season. 

This spring, faculty advisors focused the ninth grade advisory program on empathy skill-building and trained in council, a method of story sharing developed by the Ojai Foundation. Council provides a space where students can voice their opinions and share their stories, knowing they will be heard by their peers without comment or judgment. 

Earlier this year, first graders noticed the chairlift at the front entrance to McKelvey Hall. When it came time for students to begin their study of Central Park, Ms. Hashim seized the opportunity to change the traditional curriculum, harnessing her students’ interest by learning about Central Park through the eyes of the elderly or disabled. 

This March, visitors to Hewitt’s third grade classrooms found themselves rubbing elbows with a myriad of famous and vibrant women from every era of history. Guests expecting an ordinary wax museum full of motionless figures were in for a treat as the third graders, dressed as historical figures, came to life to share their stories.

Whether building a robot from scratch or working alongside a teammate to troubleshoot a pesky programming glitch, students in Hewitt’s middle school robotics program are design-thinkers and problem-solvers who learn from their successes and challenges. 

Estefania Suquilanda, Hewitt’s lower school tech support specialist, has always had a passion for repairing gadgets. “My goal is to pass on the repair bug to Hewitt students from kindergarten to twelfth grade. Whether dealing with a cracked phone screen or an argument with a best friend, knowing how to repair things is an important skill to have.”

Hewitt kindergarteners approach their role as Hewitt's newest community members with fresh eyes, deep curiosity, and lots of enthusiasm. Throughout their first year of school, kindergarteners focus on identity explorations, learning about their larger school community and their own role in that community. 

Hewitt’s commitment to sustainability spans divisions and disciplines. Between clubs, courses, and community service, faculty members are developing a variety of ways for students, teachers, and families to get involved with efforts to spread awareness and education about the environment. 

Hewitt’s Sandwich Friday tradition goes back to 2005, when this service relationship originally began in our first, second, and third grade classrooms. Since then, it has expanded to fourth grade and kindergarten so that every member of the lower school shares in this empathy-building experience. 

Hewitt fifth graders tapped into their skills as mathematicians, problem solvers, coders, researchers, and writers to plan road trips across the United States. With only a few specific guidelines about budget and mileage, students were encouraged to make independent decisions about routes, finances, food, and lodging as they planned elaborate trip itineraries.

Each year, Hewitt’s world languages department offers opportunities for middle and upper school students to travel abroad to Spanish- and French-speaking countries. These trips, filled with new experiences and discoveries, provide students with the chance to immerse themselves in the language, culture, history, and culinary traditions of different cities. 

This October, three upper school Graphic Design students attended the 12th annual Teen Design Fair, where they caught the attention of graphic designers from Sesame Workshop. 

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In its second year, Hewitt’s summer grant program supported faculty experiences that align with the school’s four academic pillars - presence, empathy, research, and purpose. 

This summer, several Hewitt faculty members participated in mindfulness training designed specifically for educators. Read their personal reflections to learn how they are incorporating mindfulness practices into their classrooms. 

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Faculty member Erik Sommer discusses his summer art installation at Fastnet, an alternative exhibition space in Red Hook, Brooklyn. 

The Hewitt School embraces the notion of teachers as learners and offers faculty several opportunities for professional development throughout the year.

From the first day of rehearsals the cast of "The Cripple of Inishmaan" jumped at the chance to take on the challenges posed by this complex text.

At Hewitt, we believe in empowering girls to establish a sense of self rooted in confidence, empathy, and hardiness through active, girl-centered academics and authentic connections to the world beyond our campus. 

In December 2016, six upper school students and nine faculty and staff members attended the annual People of Color/Student Diversity Leadership Conference in Atlanta.

At The Hewitt School, all middle school students are given the opportunity to learn robotics, and interested girls are encouraged to build on this foundation by participating in our Hawks Robotics elective. 

This March, over 700 members of the Hewitt community, including students, current and incoming families, alumnae, faculty, staff, and Met Museum educators, gathered at The Vinegar Factory to celebrate the opening of Feminist Stance: What Do You Stand For?