Bringing the Love and Hope of Jesus Christ By Amanda Adamczyk

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For the 9th Christmas season in a row, the students in the Arrupe Division participated in the My Brother’s Keeper’s Adopt a Family Christmas Program. ForScreen Shot 2015-12-18 at 12.50.21 PM the second year, the 14 Arrupe homerooms were joined by 35 High School co-curricular clubs, teams and departments. BCH sponsored 45 families this year (over 155 individuals).

My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) is a Christian non-profit organization in Easton, MA whose missions is “to bring the Love and Hope of Jesus Christ to those we serve.” During the months of January through November they provide food and furniture to those in need. Last year over 30 BCH students completed their volunteer requirement at MBK. Since 1990, during the month of December, the facility is turned into a Christmas workshop. Last year MBK delivered personally -selected gifts to 2,760 families- more than 10,500 children and parents living in 76 communities from the North Shore down to Fall River and Cape Cod. This year MBK will bring Christmas to 3000 families, over 11,000 children and parents!

There’s a saying, “you say you love the poor, name them”. This is what I love about the MBK Christmas program. Our students and faculty are not simply donating things that they would want to give or receive but they make wishes come true for the family they sponsor as they come to know that Leo, age 7 wants Star Wars legos and his brother Jaleel, 9, likes anything Minecraft or Harry Potter and that their mom, Rachel would love a new comforter. Another group comes to know that Briana, 10, does not want dolls, but would love arts and crafts and nail polish and her brother Jon, 5, likes Avengers and legos.

Not only do our students and faculty/staff purchase the wish list items but they wrap the gifts as well. On the afternoon of Tuesday December 15 a majority of the cafeteria was filled with the high school clubs, teams and departments who spent time wrapping, socializing and eating cookies. In one Arrupe Homeroom a teacher overheard the students talking as they wrapped: “Just put the tape on the package,” said one student, to which another student replied “Lisa deserves better than that; tape it carefully!”

Merry Christmas!

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Thoughts on Team Teaching By Ms. Heather Guiney of The Arrupe Division

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Reading in the “cushy chairs” Walsh 206

A little over a year ago, some teachers started discussing the idea of “team teaching”, and while the idea of groups of teachers working with the same students wasn’t a new model, the way in which we wanted to implement that practice was new. We wanted to not just share students, but to share the classroom space, the lessons, the standards of learning, and the daily schedule. We wanted not to just integrate the similar skills of the students into our lessons, but to instead, integrate ourselves into each other’s curriculums, daily lessons, and lives.

This year, three subject areas of science, social studies, and English are piloting a team teaching program in Arrupe. This breaks down to forty students, two classrooms, three teachers, and two hours and fifteen minutes of class time. Student schedules show that they have these blocks of classes either all together in the morning, or all after their lunch and Flex period. The beauty of that planning was created so teachers could use the time as needed in their teams. For example on some days, students in my team might have a day that includes an hour of social studies, so they can present a project, and then the remaining time would be split between science and English. Other days, we split the forty students into three small groups, and they rotate into the three subjects with free time at the end for everyone to read. The time spent in each class fluctuates daily, as does their grouping.

The freedom of scheduling our three subjects allows us to coordinate lessons together. Mr. Chapman and I recently taught a writing assignment that asked students to write two clear paragraphs explaining the process of evaporation and condensation. I taught the importance of topic sentences and providing evidence in their writing, while Mr. Chapman’s helped the class brainstorm the science terminology that should appear throughout the paragraph. The ability to be flexible with our schedule has allowed us to combine and extend our teaching time to better the students and to better our teaching.

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Walsh 206 – Arrupe Division

Since implementing this program and schedule change in September, I’ve seen many positives for students. There is always a teacher around to ask for help who has some knowledge of what is happening in their class, the importance of clarity in writing is stressed in all subject areas, so students make that connection themselves more readily, common terms and standards are used, so students know what to expect, and mostly students enjoy the flexibility of the schedule and the various ways we group them in the classroom. Students also enjoy the space in which we have set up as our team classrooms. We have only two rooms to work with, so we were very mindful of creating a positive learning environment that was accessible to the needs of each teacher. We needed to be able to flow from one subject to another, so students circle up in the “cushy chairs” or window seats to read their novels or have discussions, they use the tall science tables to complete science labs, and they sit at longer tables or groups of desks to work together on projects or watch presentations on the whiteboard. They take up every inch of space we have and inhabit it as their own!

While I believe the students are thriving because change is the only true constant in their young lives, the adults are still learning. There is a certain intimacy in this act of team teaching. We share the space, we share the students, and in doing so, we share the triumphs and failures of our lessons. It can be hard when a lesson falls short of the plan and to have that witnessed by two other adults is humbling. We do not have the luxury of pretending something went well, and there is no denying when the quizzes we just gave back were less than stellar. We see everything that happens in each other’s classes, but that means we also get to see when something goes well. I’ve witnessed students singing songs in science class at the top of their lungs, presenting amazing and innovative visions of cities created on Formit with their iPads, and I’ve heard them make passioned connections in A Christmas Carol to both disease prevention (science!) and Scrooge’s comments about the poor being the “surplus population” to current political views and their own ideas on a perfect city (social studies!). The connections are coming more organically and are easily recognized by the students. Proof one young man gave me a few weeks ago when responding to the idea that Mr. Chapman and Mr. Ahmed would be looking at their evidence in writing, by so eloquently shouting, “Ms. Guiney, English is creeping into all the classes now!”

There is a certain amount of trust in allowing each other to “creep” into each other’s classes. I didn’t know how much I would come to depend on my team of teachers. I didn’t know that when I drop the line, one of them is always there to pick it right back up again. I didn’t know I would need this or want this, but I do. I didn’t know that I would be emailing or texting them nightly to talk about tomorrow’s schedule. I didn’t know that the students would pick up on the differences in our teaching styles, but more importantly, I didn’t know that they would notice we are friends.

As our team continues to change and improve throughout the year, it’s my hope that the boys will witness our efforts to be flexible, to be connected, to be humble, and to be caring with each other. If we can teach those attributes, then our team will have succeeded in all the ways that truly matter.

BC High to the Outback By Ms. Rosshirt and Ms. Wilzbach

In November, three faculty and staff members, Mr. Dan Carmody, Ms. Suzanne Wilzbach, and Ms. Allison Rosshirt, traveled to Sydney, Australia, as part of the Exploratory Team to organize a partnership between BC High and St. Ignatius College, Riverview. The trip not only marked the first time that BC High explored the continent of Australia, but also was the first partnership where BC High teamed up with another U.S. school, Fordham Prep from New York City, to create a Hyde Center program.

Allie and Suzanne

While in Sydney, the Exploratory Team was able to sit in on classes within their academic disciplines, as well as observe many other aspects of the school. Allison observed a Year 10 and a Year 11 math course, while Suzanne collaborated with the staff of Riverview’s Pastoral Care Center and with the University Admission Counselor. The team visited the Riverview Junior School, Regis Campus, which is home to Year 5 and Year 6 students. These boys are offered a large variety of courses, including art, music, coding, and all of the major disciplines. At the high school level, we were able to observe the culminating project which required students to propose changes to Australian law. Presenting to members of the Australian government, students utilized Catholic Social Teaching and Australian laws to support their arguments for change. High school students at Riverview are also offered a large variety of courses, including agriculture, because of the history of farming families at Riverview.

Our team also had the pleasure of meeting with Malarndirri McCarthy, a Yanyuwa woman from the Northern Territory of Australia. Malarndirri is a journalist and the recipient of the 2014 Multicultural and Indigenous Media Awards Journalist of the Year. She works with Riverview to provide their students with experiences with indigenous people and to create a cross-cultural exchange program between Riverview and Borroloola. Our team is excited to continue communicating with Malarndirri to learn more about the indigenous culture of Australia and to incorporate these cultural exchanges into our BC High trips in the future.

The success of the visit has led to the establishment of a BC High/Fordham Prep academic and service trip to Riverview for three weeks in June, as well as a three week Riverview exchange to both Boston and New York City in September. BC High and Fordham Prep students will participate in a homestay, academic study, and a five-day service experience with their host brothers. The Riverview students will split their time between Boston and New York City. While at BC High, they will be a part of our classrooms and will also experience a Wilderness Retreat. In addition to our partnership with Riverview, we are in continued discussions to create a future partnership with St. Aloysius College, another Jesuit school in Sydney. We are also in continued discussions with Riverview about short-term and long-term teacher exchanges in the future.