Halloween Fun

We had an exciting Halloween Celebration here at Sea Crest. We began with a K-8 assembly in the gym followed by a fantastic costume parade across the blacktop and around the field. Our students had a blast while showcasing their amazing, very creative costumes. After the all-school celebration, every classroom had its own party, projects, crafts and snacks. It truly was a spooktacular time!

Halloween Fun Sea Crest School Halloween Fun Sea Crest School Halloween Fun Sea Crest School Halloween Fun Sea Crest School Halloween Fun Sea Crest School Halloween Fun Sea Crest School Halloween Fun Sea Crest School Halloween Fun Sea Crest School Halloween Fun Sea Crest School 2016-10-31-Halloween-Celebration-86 Halloween Fun Sea Crest School Halloween Fun Sea Crest School Halloween Fun Sea Crest School Halloween Fun Sea Crest School Halloween Fun Sea Crest School

 


 

Greetings from the Music Program

By Marcus Cooper, Music Teacher

It has been an exciting year in Music! We have been learning the musical elements: melody, harmony, rhythm and timbre, as well as practicing instruments in our classroom.

In Lower School, we have been creating the foundation to understanding music: singing diatonic scales (do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti-do) and performing them on classroom bells, learning how to listen to music and allowing students to put their musical ideas into practice through Garageband composition projects.

In Middle School, our two explorations have been rocking! In “Music Technology”, students are learning how to use basic recording software and will soon build their own short song portfolio by performing live sound recordings on synthesizers and MIDI instruments. In “A cappella”, students have focused on practicing proper vocal techniques and, as we fight through nervousness, beautiful voices emerge!

It is been such a wonderful experience working with each and every student! I look forward to the continued growth of our music program and the many exciting performances to come!

 

Music Performing Arts Class Music Performing Arts Class Music Performing Arts Class


 

— Supporting Heads: Sustaining a Flourishing Leadership Partnership

The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) published an article — “Supporting Heads: Sustaining a Flourishing Leadership Partnership”— written by Dr. Tekakwitha M. Pernambuco-Wise and Dr. Olaf Jorgenson of Almaden Country School in San Jose, California.

When identifying their main responsibilities, most independent school trustees recite familiar priorities, such as preserving the school’s mission, providing financial oversight, and strategic planning. “Supporting the head” typically falls somewhere toward the end of the list.

Given that the heads of school we know either treasure the support they get from their boards or would like more support — or support of a different kind—it strikes us that boards would be wise to rethink where support for the head falls on their list of priorities and to consider what “support” means to heads.

In his 2002 Independent School article, “How to Keep Your Head: Great Schools and Long-Term Headship,” veteran school leader Al Adams urges boards to make the retention of heads a top priority (Albert M. Adams, “How to Keep Your Head: Great Schools and Long-term Headship,” Independent School, Fall, 2002.) Indeed, Adams makes a compelling case for board members to understand the phases of headship and to support the needs of leaders over time so that their schools thrive under the stable, competent leadership of long-term heads.

But what exactly does “supporting the head of school” mean? Does it have the same implications for heads as it does for trustees? What types of support do heads most appreciate? Should trustees’ support change as heads advance through the phases of their career? Do the needs of male and female heads differ?

These questions, in addition to our own conversations about our respective challenges and needs as school heads, led us to reach out to colleagues and trustees across the membership of the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), inviting feedback and collective wisdom about “head support.”

We sought to gather a sizable set of perceptions from both school leaders and board members, identify any consistent themes that we could share, and inform boards seeking to nourish and sustain their heads by better understanding what school leaders most need — thus fostering a deeper partnership between trustees and heads.

What follows is a summary of our research, surveying 207 school heads and 59 trustees, with core advice for boards on how they can improve their support for their heads.

What Do Heads Need and Value Most?

Heads and trustees shared nearly identical five top responses to this question, though in different order, with trustees identifying an additional priority.

For heads, the list reads:

  1. Moral Support
  2. Respect for Expertise
  3. Advice and Guidance
  4. Less Operational Involvement
  5. Open Communication

For trustees, the list reads:

  1. Advice and Guidance
  2. Strategic Support
  3. Respect for Expertise
  4. Moral Support
  5. Open Communication
  6. (tie) Public Appreciation

What is most striking about the two lists is that heads put “moral support” at the top while trustees see “advice and guidance” as their lead priority — dropping moral support to the fourth position.

Head of school respondents place less value on trustee advice and express greater need for moral support, empathy, and respect for their expertise — or as one respondent put it, “understanding the pressures of the job and respect for the difficult decisions I have to make.”

Another head summarized what many respondents stated: It would be beneficial for trustees to “understand that their ideas may or may not benefit the school, and that trying to get the school to do things differently before they understand current process or needs is often a point of agitation… Admin[istrators] feel like they are being told to change by board members who don’t fully understand the whole picture.”

Tekakwitha NAIS Article ChartSurvey data also suggest, encouragingly, that both head and trustee respondents understand the need to separate day-to-day operational matters from board-level strategic issues. Numerous heads shared their appreciation when trustees commit to “digging into the work and bringing value through their own engagement,” pursuing board-level professional development about nonprofit school governance, ruminating “about big ideas together,” and dealing with “the rogue trustee who [strays into operational matters], understanding that such behavior is intolerable, destructive, and needs clear action.” Heads report feeling affirmed when trustees acknowledge that school leaders “know more than they do and have handled things well, given all constraints.”

Intriguingly, heads commented repeatedly that they appreciate being recognized, yet did not rank public recognition for their efforts as a top priority. However, trustees felt public recognition of heads was important. We’re including it in this report because it tied for number five for trustees. (Number six for heads was improvement in compensation and benefits.) Perhaps the heads downplayed recognition because, as one head observed, in a strong board-head relationship, the head and board should share recognition for the school’s accomplishments.

In the narrative comments, “trustee leadership in development efforts” appeared as one of the most common priorities from head respondents. Heads overwhelmingly urged trustees to undertake more leadership in fundraising, understanding, as one head put it “that all board members need to be engaged in development even if they don’t serve on the development committee.” This could include a range of trustee involvement, from personal giving to identification of potential donors to direct solicitations.

Furthermore, heads commented that they welcome advice from board members in their areas of expertise such as finance, law, marketing, local politics, and communication.

The article also examines how the needs of male and female heads differ, what types of support are most valued at the different stages of the headship, and concludes with recommendations for board members to help them better meet the needs of school leaders. Click here to read the entire article on the NAIS website.

Innovative Learning Spaces

Sea Crest School is dedicated to providing the best in innovative education. Our teachers promote active learning, and our classroom spaces should, too. We want our surroundings to support co-creation and open discussion, and that means investing in flexible furniture that fosters connections between students. Because learning styles vary, our spaces need to be fluid enough to support this diversity – often at a moment’s notice. Collaborative work must be supported by collaborative classrooms.

Last year we began this journey and our targeted fundraising initiatives supported our Innovative Learning Spaces. Thanks to these valuable contributions, we are now enhancing our classrooms, one by one, and turning them into the innovative, flexible spaces that will fit each of our students’ learning needs.

Our Dream

“I love my classroom space, and I think that there’s more that we can do to make it flexible and fun and really fit the needs of the learning that’s happening here.” 

Our Flexible Classroom Spaces Today!

Flexible Classroom Spaces

Thank you so much for your support!


 

Seventh Graders’ Makey Makey Musical Instruments

What is a Makey Makey?

A Makey Makey is an invention kit that turns everyday objects into touchpads by combining them with electric circuits, alligator clips, USB cables and the internet. With Makey Makey projects, students can do art, engineering and everything in between!

Makey Makey started out as a project by two students at MIT Media Lab as an academic and artistic project. Now it’s both a business and a project with thousands of community collaborators, with more joining the ranks of inventors everyday.

Our Seventh Graders built Makey Makey musical instruments as part of the Explorations curriculum under the guidance of Ellyn Kohrs, Technology Integration and Computer Science Teacher. They made musical plastic animals, drum sets, a floor piano, a stuffed animal band and a foil key instrument.

They also had the amazing opportunity to share their inventions with Third Grade, who had a blast playing the instruments and learning about electronics, conductivity, circuits, programming and music!

 

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Connor made a drum set out of pipe cleaners and gold pin heads. The way the drum set is set up the crash cymbal is at the top left and the drums are in a triangle.

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Charles made a piano out of plastic animals. He has an entire key from middle C to high C. To play the piano you hold the earth and then touch the copper tape on top of the animals.

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Billy built a drumset with two drums, a high-hat and two drumsticks. It is made out of cardboard, copper, tape, pencils, aluminum foil, a makey makey set and chromebook. To play it, you hold the drumsticks without touching the aluminum foil and tap the copper.

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Conor’s instrument is a piano and the piano goes from A to G. The piano is made out of tinfoil wrapped around cardboard. To play his piano, you hold the earth which is the yellow alligator clip and you touch the cardboard wrapped in tinfoil and it makes the noise.

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Maisie made a piano out of carpet squares for stability wrapped in tin foil to be conductive. To play you take off your shoes and touch the aluminum foil.

Seventh Grade Makey Makey Musical Instrument

Mikalee demonstrating her stuffed-animal band and sharing important concepts, such as electric circuits and connectivity, with third graders while they were all playing music and having fun.


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