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Founders Day Schedule


Founders Day Schedule:

Sunday, February 21: 7 p.m. screening of the film “One Revolution” with Chris Waddell, a Paralympian and author.

Monday, February 22: Founders Day

8:30 a.m. “Nametags” assembly with Chris Waddell in Phillips Stevens Chapel.Seating by advisory. “It’s not what happens to you. It’s what you do with what happens to you.”

9:30 a.m.-9:45 a.m. Question and answer session with Chris Waddell

9:45 a.m.-10:00 a.m. Info and food for thought

10:00-10:15 a.m. break

10:15-11:15 a.m. “Sharing Your Social Identities”: Assigned family groups for cultural awareness.*

11:15-11:25 a.m. break

11:25 a.m.-11:55 p.m. Group A: Lunch in Birch Dining Commons
Group B: Check-in and reflection with Advisory

11:55-12:05 break

12:05-12:35 p.m. Group B: Lunch in Birch Dining Commons
Group A: Check-in and Reflection with Advisory

12:35-12:45 p.m. Go to assigned afternoon workshop location

12:45-1:45 p.m. Exploring personal identities and passions workshops

1:45-1:55 p.m. break.  Go to the Phillips Stevens Chapel

2:00 p.m. Closing assembly in the Phillips Stevens Chapel


*Please pay special attention to the following:

Assigned Family Groups (10:15-11:15 a.m.) will allow for dialogue and sharing. Peer and faculty facilitators will be positive and make sure all discussions run smoothly. Family Groups allow for safe and brave space. As we expect on a daily basis, we will be open and respectful of everyone during discussions and exercises. It is an opportunity to share and listen. These are the norms and expectations of participation for the day:

1. Be fully present.
2. Speak from the “I” perspective.
3. Be self-responsible and self-challenging.
4. Listen, listen, listen, and process.
5. Experiment with new behaviors in order to expand your range of response.
6. Accept conflict and its resolution as a necessary catalyst for learning. Listen first.
7. Be comfortable with silence.
8. Be crisp; say what’s core.
9. Treat the candidness of others as a gift; honor confidentiality. What is said in family groups, stays in family groups.
10. Suspend judgment of yourself and of others.

Philosophical Debate Club Meeting Tonight

Tonight, Wednesday (1/27), at 6:00 p.m. in the COX ROOM there will be a Philosophical Debate Club meeting! 

All are welcome to come discuss or listen to what people have to say about this topic. 

The fact of the matter is, nobody likes talking about how we treat old people. We send them to homes and that closes the matter. No matter what we either regard them as burdens or with the highest respect, but we never look at them as on the same plane as ourselves. 

So why do we treat old people so poorly? And, more importantly, what can we do to change how we treat them? 

An article to get your thoughts flowing:

See you there! 

Samuel Canney

President of Your Philosophical Debate Club

Pond Opens for Skating

Dear Wildcats,

It is with great pleasure that we declare the pond open to skating today, January 25, 2016.  The weather has been perfect and the Grounds Crew has completed measuring the ice and putting the safety gear out.  Attached to this email is the “Pond Winter Use Policy”.  The policy is intended to keep everyone, who chooses to use the ice, safe while doing so.  Please read the policy and understand where the boundaries are for the area that is to be used.  It is imperative that you stay within the designated boundaries.  Anyone outside the boundaries will be subject to disciplinary action.

Have fun and be safe!

Ms. O’Connor

Pond Winter Use Policy


The Williston Northampton School is fortunate enough to have a pond on campus that becomes a hub of outdoor activities, such as skating, in the cold winter months. Realizing that there comes an inherent risk in using the ice due to fluctuating weather and constant changing of ice conditions, the Physical Plant and Security Departments have created the following policy in an effort to make using the pond in cold weather as safe as possible.

  • The School will use the Massachusetts Wildlife Ice Strength and Safety Guidelines as a guide for permissible weight, or load, on ice. Activities on the frozen pond will only be allowed if there is a minimum of five inches of ice, measured in six locations.
  • The weather will determine when the pond can be used for activities.   As soon as it has been cold for several, consecutive days and it is deemed safe for employees to go out on the ice, it will be tested for thickness and safety. Testing of the ice will include drilling in six different locations to test for the thickness.
  • No one shall go out on the ice until an initial test of the ice has been completed and it has been determined to be safe, with five inches of ice present, by the Physical Plant.
  • After the initial testing, and a result that indicates five inches of ice are present, the ice will be tested by members of the Physical Plant as needed. The result of the test will determine if the ice is safe to use. Members of the Physical Plant, and the weather, will determine how often the ice testing will be done.
  • Once the ice is considered safe and ready for use, Williston students, staff, and faculty will receive an email indicating such. After the initial email, additional emails acknowledging the condition of the ice and whether it is safe for activity will be sent out as needed. All email communications shall be internal and shall not be intended for anyone outside of the Williston community.
  • The Physical Plant and Security Departments will not endorse the safety of the pond for anyone outside of the Williston community. All others use the pond at their own risk.
  • A designated area of ice will be available for activities on the pond. This area shall be marked by being shoveled and cleared of all debris. Anyone looking to gain access to this area should approach it from the nearest side.
  • The designated area will be determined and created by the Physical Plant. After the initial clearing of this area, those using the ice will be responsible for keeping it shoveled off.
  • When school is not in session, the ice will not be tested and those that go out on the ice do so at their own risk.
  • Safety equipment, such as ladders and ropes, will be provided on each shore in case of an emergency. This equipment shall be visible and accessible and shall only be used in an emergency.
  • All other areas of the pond, other than the designated area and the area leading to each nearest shore, shall be considered unsafe and shall not be used or walked upon. Only the designated area will be tested for ice thickness.
  • Anyone playing hockey on the pond, using sticks and a puck(s), shall wear a helmet.
  • Both ends of the pond shall be considered unsafe. The area of the pond from the foot bridge toward the road (Park Street) and the area past the rope, which runs shore-to-shore, shall be considered unsafe! No one shall ever be on the ice in these areas!
  • The Physical Plant staff has the right to deem the ice unsafe at any time.


Field Trip to Quebec City

February long weekend annual trip to Quebec City for winter carnival.  This event is optional  for Williston students who are studying French and the eight students have elected to attend.  They will head to Quebec City, Canada on Thursday, February 4at 10 a.m. and return Monday, February 8 by 6 p.m. If you have any questions or concerns please contact chaperones Adeleen Brown or Sue Michalski.

Field Trip to Hartford Stage

Ten students in Acting II, who have been studying Shakespeare, have the option to attend a performance of Romeo and Juliet on February 13, 2016. The performance is directed by Tony-award winning director Darko Tresnjak and is taking place at the Hartford Stage. Students will leave at 6:30 p.m. for the 8:00 p.m. performance and return by 11 p.m. Contact faculty chaperone Emily Ditkovski with any questions.

Writing Center Hours This Week: GREEN WEEK 1/24-1/31

Do you hear that sound? It’s NOT the pitter-patter of a light snow falling on the roof. It’s the sound of your teachers frantically typing comments…

Will they be able to say that you have visited the Writing Center?

(Also, be extra nice to them tomorrow.)

Here are the hours for this week:

Tonight (Sunday):
7:45 p.m.-9:45 p.m. (study hall)

8:40 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. (D)
12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. (E1, E2)
7:45 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. (study hall)

9:40 a.m. to 10:40 a.m. (C)
12 p.m. to 1 p.m. (A1)
1:40 p.m to 2:40 p.m. (F)
7:45 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. (study hall)

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2nd Founders Day Diversity Workshop Brainstorming Session

Please consider joining us in the Cox Room today for our second brainstorming session for Founders Day workshops. Student leaders will lead us in some exercises we plan to share with the community. See you at 3 p.m. in the Cox Room of the Dining Commons tomorrow.


Matt Spearing
Director of Student Activities
Director of Inclusion
10th Grade Dean
Science, Coach, Dorm Head

Classics Day 2016

On Friday, January 15, Will Eberle, Lori Pelliccia, Daniel Roe and I brought all 61 Williston Latin students to Mount Holyoke College for Classics Day.  We joined around 300 students from a number of other schools, including Amherst Regional, Lenox, BCD and Academy Hill. Our students had a blast attending workshops, examining—and even handling—the antiquities in the Mount Holyoke Museum, and competing in contests.   Everyone participated in at least one contest, and everyone had fun.  We are so proud of our prize-winners:

-Gabe Moon: third place in military art for his amazing shield.

-Oscar DeFrancis and Nat Markey: third place for their model of the baths at Aquae Sulis.

-Rida Kareem, Molly Zawacki, and Sebi Herrera: second place for their costumed portrayal of Venus, Psyche and Cupid.

-Anabelle Farnham: second place for her memorized recitation of a poem by Sappho in Greek.  

We had so many more prize-worthy entries!  My personal favorites were Jaden Tanguay’s extraordinarily realistic spear and Anabelle, Chloe, and Neha as the three Fates: Clotho/Neha (who spins the thread of life), Lachesis/Chloe (who measures it) and Atropos/Anabelle (who cuts the thread and ends life).  I’ve never seen students make bed-sheets look so authentically like ancient Greek garb! Neha even made her own spindle.  

Thanks to all of you who helped us make this day a success and especially to our cheerful, tireless chaperones, Dan and Lori.  

Venimus, Vidimus, Vicimus!  (We came, we saw, we conquered!)

Beatrice Cody