Parkmont Happenings

Happy Summer!

We hope that everyone enjoys their summer!

Link here to read the latest Passing Notes.  Parkmont students have been up to a lot of really fascinating things! We hope you enjoy your reading.

See you back in the fall.  Orientation is on August 31, and the first day of school is September 5th.  Please click here to see the 2017-18 calendar.

Puerto Rico

With its warm tropical waters, Caribbean vibes, and ample sunlight, La Isla del Encanto, or Puerto Rico as we mainlanders call it, plays host to thousands of Spring Breakers every April. This year, a group of eight Parkmont upper schoolers and three chaperones headed over to see what all the fuss was about. The “island of enchantment” lived up to its local name as we encountered beautiful natural and cultural surprises at every twisty, single-laned, steeply-graded turn.

Upper School Internships

Upper School students have been hard at work at their internship sites all year long. They spend three hours, twice a week, at their internship sites (completing 180 hours over the year.)

Students delve into an industry that interests them, learning work skills while also building their resumes, work relationships, and career aspirations. Internship sites this year include Joe's Record Paradise, Theatre Lab, Brookside Gardens, East City Bookshop, The Studio Grooming Salon, and many, many more.  Middle Schoolers have also begun their two-month internship stint, and are enjoying themselves at a variety of area businesses!

Parkmont Launches New Poetry Reading Series

For 35 years, the school has sponsored the Parkmont Poetry Festival, which is the culmination of an annual poetry contest among the District’s middle school and high school students. In D.C., Parkmont means Poetry.

In this tradition of being a friend to poetry, Parkmont is opening its doors to all poetry lovers of D.C.’s metro area by hosting a poetry reading series. The event is free, and an open mic will precede the readings.

Come to Parkmont on Thursday, April 6, 2017 at 7 p.m. and hear two fine Washington, D.C. poets: Joseph Ross and Michael Gushue

Passing Notes

We are pleased to publish Parkmont School's Passing Notes from Sessions 1 & 2. 

Please take a look and enjoy!

Heading into the Holidays

Our Upper School students had a wonderful treat this week when they got to go to the movies with their Reading Groups.

Willa's and Ron's reading groups went to see Loving, which was tied to their respective Reading Group themes of race and historic events.  Bridget's mythology and storytelling Reading Group went to see Fantastic Beasts (the new Harry Potter installment.)  Nijole's language Reading Group went to see Arrival.  The various groups went to Silver Spring and Georgetown to see their films.

The afternoon was a great change of pace, and the students had a vey relaxing time, that was followed by very interesting film discussions in their classes afterwards. 

Students last day is Wednesday, December 21st. We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday break!

The World Needs Your Novel!

In the Middle School this past month, students in Nijole and Willa's English classes have been taking part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month.)

Young Writers Program started the NaNoWriMo project, believing in "the transformational power of creativity." "The World Needs Your Novel" is their motto.  Students set their own writing goals for the month.  Their monthly goals ranged from 5,000 words to 11,000 words, and they establish nightly goals within that, putting their pen to paper daily. 

Field Day

Parkmont Students departed campus on Tuesday afternoon for a fun, community-building Field Day.

The afternoon was organized by Bridget and was a huge success.  Middle School and Upper School students participated in a variey of fun challenges, including a Three-Legged Race, Chicken Relay (involving holding tennis balls between your knees), Egg Toss, Silent Art Race (acting out pictures), and Spoon and Egg Relay.

This was followed by a full-school Capture the Flag Game.  The group played two rounds based on advisory group.  The games were a great way to learn about sportsmanship and athletic competition.

A New Session at Parkmont

Session Two began at Parkmont last week. Students maintain the same Reading Group and math classes, but they have new Main Lessons and Afternoon Classes.  Main Lesson offerings in the Middle School this session were World Geography and Ecology.  In the Upper School, students chose between Chemistry, Spanish, Psychology, Physics, and Research Writing. 

Middle School Hits the Trail

The Middle School headed to the Shenandoah Mountains on Wednesday, October 12th. Nijole, Matt, Troy and Ethan took our 21 middle schoolers for the adventure.

On the early morning van ride up to the Shenandoah mountains, the group munched on bagels and cream cheese. They reached Skyline Drive and went about 20 miles towards Hawksbill Mountain, where they set off for the summit. It was a clear day and a great day to be outdoors, with classmates and teachers, getting some exercise. Everyone made it to the top in under an hour, and the group did great! After summiting, they descended to have lunch at Big Meadows. The kids loved the meadow and explored with the teachers, finding deer bones, playing frisbee and soccer, and enjoying the sunshine.

Do You Have Need of an Intern?

The Parkmont Internship experience is, for many of our upper-school students, a game-changer. Stepping off the grounds of Parkmont for three hours on two afternoons a week and entering the world of work (not as an observer, but as a team member) can suddenly put the possibilities and responsibilities of the future in clearer focus.

Academic Intrigue at Parkmont

You probably know about Parkmont's unique Main Lesson program--where students take one core subject for two hours a day for seven weeks at a time, and then switch to a new Main Lesson. Students take this Main Lesson course alongside a math class, an English class, an advisory session, and an Afternoon Class (extracurricular sports, art, media, and more.)

Not only does taking a Main Lesson give more students more time in a particular subject area (and less homework overall), BUT, it also allows them to get more in depth in the materials, having more time to engage in projects, field trips, and conversation.

Back to School Information!

We are excited to start the 2016-17 school year!  For new families, please know that you will receive many emails regarding school information from us throughout the year.  Sometimes, we will request a confirmation email so we know you got the information.  If we don't hear back from you via email, someone from the school will usually follow up with a phone call. Parents can always feel free to email us about general school questions.

Once school begins, you will receive the name and contact information for your student's advisor.  He or she will be your primary point of contact regarding academic questions specific to your child.

Here are some important scheduling reminders:

Parkmont Poetry Festival Video

Please enjoy this new video that explains the Parkmont Poetry Festival.

Parkmont's 34th Annual Poetry Festival

On Saturday, April 30, 2016, the 34th Parkmont Poetry Festival was held, this year in the Sidwell Friends School meeting house.

Each year, 40 D.C. student winners are selected by four poet judges from among hundreds of entries from all 8 wards of the District.  Eleven D.C. schools (public, private, and charter) had winners in 2016.   We enjoyed a lovely and inspiring afternoon listening to the young poets read their works.   

Thank you to all the many teachers across Washington who participate, and a particular thanks to the students, who share with us their hopes and dreams and fears. Your poetry amazes us.

New Year

I'm skating into the new year.

I drove out of the last year.

I am leaving behind fights, arguments

Session Five Main Lessons

We began our final session for the year this week: Session 5.  Students came back refreshed from spring break, and were ready for their new classes.  

Parkmont Cooks!

Our last period of the day at Parkmont three days per week is called "afternoon class."  This is our time to engage in extra curricular activities such as the arts, athletics, computer technology, and music.  Each of our five sessions, students have 6-7 afternoon classes to choose from.  Some sessions the choices might be hiking, tennis, ceramics, gardening, yoga, digital photography or fashion design.

Middle School Internships

We've entered the season of Parkmont's Middle School Internships!  The Upper School students spend six hours per week, all year long, at their internship sites. The Middle Schoolers prepare for that aspect of their high school experience by spending 2 hours on Wednesdays for ten weeks at their internships.  

We have one small group of 6th-8th graders doing community service projects, and the rest of the students are doing individual internships.

“An Evening of Poetry”

In celebration and support of The Parkmont Poetry Festival, "An Evening of Poetry" will be held at Busboys and Poets (1025 5th Street, NW, DC 20001) on Thursday, March 3rd, 2016 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Valet Parking is available.

With readings by: Holly Bass, Teri Cross Davis, Hayes Davis, Nan Fry, Ethelbert Miller, Sharan Strange, and Anne Harding Woodworth.

Happy Holidays from Parkmont School!

December 18th marks the end of session for our students at Parkmont, and will be followed by a 2-week holiday break! We hope you all enjoy yourselves and we'll look forward to seeing you back at school on Monday, January 4th.  Lots of exciting learning and trips to come in 2016!

P.S. Please take a look at our most recent Passing Notes from sessions 1 and 2 to see what we've been up to.


Middle School Hikes at Annapolis Rocks

On a stunningly beautiful, sunny, fall day yesterday, the middle school headed to Annapolis Rocks to be out in nature and hike for the day. About 15 students were joined by teachers Indigo, Troy, Matt, and Nijole.

Middle School Hikes at Great Falls

On Wednesday, Parkmont middle school students had a fantastic adventure day. They headed to Great Falls, where they took a hike with teachers Nijole, Sam, Matt, and Troy. They hiked on the historic C & O Canal and out to Great Falls itself, along the Potomac River.  In addition to seeing some very high water at Great Falls after all of last week's rain, students saw an enormous black snake, and got to skip stones.  

Off to a Great Start!

It's been a great start to the 2015-16 school year!  We're thrilled to have 65 students at Parkmont, who are loving learning and enjoying their school days.  For such a small school, you won't believe the number of interesting classes being offered for session 1!  In Main Lesson classess: World Mythology and Scientific Discovery for the Middle Schoolers, and World Government, D.C. History, Chemisty, and Spanish for the Upper Schoolers.  In math, our students are studying everything from basic math, through algebra & geometry, and up to calculus.  The Reading Group topics are Perspectives in Reading and Writing, The Role of Immigration in the U.S., Adulthood (focus on career, college, coming of age), and Reading to Discover the World.

Back to School

WELCOME BACK!!!!!  We can't wait to see you all.  And we can't wait to meet our many new students!

Teachers arrived back at school today, and we are getting ready for the first day on September 1st.

Here are some important scheduling reminders:

Student Exhibitions Night

In May we hosted our 4th Annual Student Exhibitions Night. This is an event open to all families, where academic, internship, & art work is on display by each student. It is a wonderful opportunity to see how hard our teachers and students are working each day, learning about so many facets of our world.

Parkmont Poetry Festival

Last weekend, Parkmont School hosted its 33rd Annual Poetry Festival.

Middle Schoolers Tackle Calleva's Ropes Course

Just before Spring Break, the middle school took one of our favorite adventure trips of the year, to the Calleva Ropes Course!  The students got outside of their comfort zones and overcame their fear of heights by completing four ropes course challenges.  Three of them were "high elements," which meants getting up to thirty feet off the ground.  The first, Bauer's Bonanza, required students to communicate with their peers on the ground in order to cross wooden beams fifteen feet off the ground.  The groups's favorite challenge, the Giant Swing, got everyone's adrenaline pumping.  Students were hoisted thirty feet in the air, and then pulled a clip to drop themselves.

Parkmont Gardeners Give Back to the Neighborhood

The afternoon gardening class has completed an exciting project for the neighborhood. Over the winter, when the grounds were too frozen to dig, students built and painted a borrowing library where students, faculty, neighbors, and passers-by can give or take books for others' enjoyment. The inventory is always changing, and it is wonderful especially for those waiting for the bus each day! The class and Cari Rudd, their creative gardening instructor, also donated and installed a park bench by the library and bus stop. The corner of Blagden and Sixteenth Street is now a much more welcoming spot than it has ever been before. Thank you to Cari and to her hard-working students!

Art at Parkmont

This session there are two art offerings during the afternoon class period. One group is taking "Independent Studio" with Rose. Rose, as many of you know, not only works at Parkmont, but is a local artist and illustrator, too. Most of the group is doing print making, or creating comic books, and one student is painting. The print making group is working on making linoleum block prints, using a super hero theme. Some of the comic book students are has also adapted this theme, making comic books about superheroes, and some even making some of their comics using linoleum block prints.    

Upper School Internships

An integral part of our education at Parkmont is the Internship program, which Upper Schoolers participate in every Wednesday and Friday afternoon. Over the course of a given year, our high school students spend 180 hours at their internship sites. Most remain with one internship site for the whole year, and others switch to a second site mid-year.

In addition to getting great hands-on learning experience, building their aspirations and dreams, and acquiring working skills and confidence, our students participate in a number of projects each year.  During each of the 5 sessions at Parkmont, students write two journal entries about their experiences (for a total of ten per year). Over the course of the year, they also engage in 4 projects:

Session Four Begins Today

Welcome Back! Today is the start of session four.

Our Upper School and Middle School students have great new Main Lesson options for the session: Chemistry, Spanish, World Geography, Social Movements, Capitalism, Robotics, and World Religions. In addition to these morning classes, their Reading Groups, and their math, students will also be able to select from the following Afternoon Classes: Fashion Design, Gardening, Art, Petitions & SAT Prep (for Seniors), Sports, Study Skills, Typing, and Ecology (for students who went on the Ecology Everglades Trip.)

We hope that all of our students are well rested after their winter break and are ready to delve into an exciting new session!

Everglades Adventure Underway

The Everglades Ecology trip is well underway and they are having a true adventure!!! Check out (and like!) Parkmont's Facebook page to get photos and the blow by blow on what the kids are learning and seeing each day.

Here are a few quotes from Facebook from the travelers:

Paragraphs & Essays Class on Personal Attributes

Kristin is currently teaching the Main Lesson class on writing that most upper schoolers will take at some point during their duration at Parkmont: Paragraphs and Essays. In the course, students delve into the details of writing, composing college-level papers and essays. In this week's assignment, Kristin's students worked on essays about personal attributes that they admired. Following are some of their very insightful (and well-written!) reflections.

Ecology in the Everglades

Next week, Alex's upper school Ecology class is heading to the Everglades, Florida. The students have been familiarizing themselves with southern Florida’s geography, terrain, and diverse ecosystems. Over the next week students will be preparing fauna guides and studying invasive species of the Everglades. The Everglades is a unique place that offers a critical look at invasive species, man’s impact on wild systems and issues around water management. It is this uniqueness that makes Homestead, Florida one of the only places in the western hemisphere where you can find a breeding population of Red-whiskered Bulbu, an Indian song bird. The class is excited to see some of the things they have been studying all session, first hand.

Their itinerary includes:

Parkmont Hits the Slopes

Every winter, Parkmont faculty take the students skiing for a day. It's a chance to free the mind from academics for a day, to get some great exercise and fresh air, and to learn a new skill (or hone one for the pros!) For the last several years we have skied at Whitetail Resort, less than two hours away. The group is on the mountain skiing by 10:00 a.m. and they ski until 3 p.m.

California, Thank You for the Adventure

Over Spring Break in April, the upper school U.S. Immigration History class took a 9-day trip to California. They traveled from Los Angeles to San Franciso to study important immigration landmarks along the way. This was the culmination of a 7-week course on immigration history. View the scrapbook of our trip.