Friday, June 9, 2017

End of year survey

I’d like to thank Mr. Ravdin and all of the Shaka writers this year. I think they have really added some perspective and thoughtfulness to the newsletters this year. It’s been a pleasure to share my writing duties with them. Now, I’d like to turn the last newsletter of the year over to you so that you can share the things you’ve accomplished this year. Please fill out the following survey thoughtfully and with detailed evidence. The more you write, the more we can learn and improve things. Study hard for your finals and Regents, and then, let’s all look forward to having a fun-filled vacation.

Work hard,

John Wenk

1.     What was your favorite LoMA experience this year? __________________________________________



2.     What did you like best about your extracurricular activities this year?_______________ _____________



3.     If you could change one thing about your experiences this year, what would it be?_____ _____________



4.     What was the best trip or performance you went on or saw? Why – be specific? ____________________



5.     What is something that you put a lot of effort into this year? ____________________________________



6.     What do you plan to work towards next year? _______________________________________________


7.     What are two major lessons you learned about yourself or life this year?



8.     What books did you read in DEAR and at home this year? _____________________________________



9.     What is something you would like to improve about LoMA? ____________________________________



10.  Are we challenging you too much or not enough? Explain why and which classes. Give examples. _____


June 12           6:00                 Senior Showcase
June 12                                   Last Day of classes
June 13-27                              Regents’ Week
June 20                                   Prom
June 22                                    LoMAPalooza
June 27           11:00               Graduation
June 28                                   Last Day of School!

Friday, June 2, 2017

End of the year's growth

LoMA Cares
                                                                                                                                    June 5, 2017
Dear LoMA Family,

            This has been a wonderful year of growth for our LoMA family. Most of our students have excelled academically, athletically, and artistically. Our teachers have been learning and trying new things, and our Parents’ Association (PA) has been more active than ever. Here are some of my highlights:
·       The Whitney Biennial was an amazing experience for our arts majors and led to some great press about our school as it became a satellite location for America’s most prestigious art show. Being a part of this Whitney Family Day gave our students the chance to shine and was very well attended.
  • Seward Park Boys’ Basketball, Boys’ Volleyball and Girls’ Softball won their respective divisions this past year. They were all successful in the playoffs and advanced to play multiple rounds. The Girls’ Volleyball, Girls’ Tennis, Table Tennis, Wrestling, Girls’ Basketball, Handball, and Boys’ Badminton also all made the playoffs where they advanced multiple rounds. They will celebrate their success at the PSAL Sports’ Awards Dinner. LoMA’s own basketball team is 10-3 so far this year, their best season in years.
·       We have had three excellent shows so far this year: Almost, Maine was charming; the Talent Show was spirited; and Grease was a blast. We still have two big shows coming up – the Majors’ Show and Senior Gala. Our music majors recorded their songs at Brooklyn Recording Studio and drama majors performed at Pearl Theater.
·       I have lost track of how many trips we have taken this year, but the highlights were to the Constitution Center in Philadelphia, The Cloisters, four trips to NYTW, two concerts by St. Luke’s Orchestra, and the Senior Trip.
·       Over 80% of The Class of 2017 will be graduating on-time in four years. Students from that class will be attending Brandeis University, Morehouse, Cal Arts and the SUNYs at Albany and Geneseo. Based on the numbers of students passing their classes, over 80% of the next three classes should graduate on time as well.
·       Our community partners have done wonderful work with our students. Edgies hosted a fabulous Talent Show, Step Up took our girls to professional workplaces, ScriptEd students got to take part in hackathons, and Henry Street provided SAT classes for our juniors.
·       Our school has been quite safe. We did not have a single fight in school and there were very few thefts. Our students are learning how to take better care of one another.
·       Our teachers have been learning to be better teachers as well. They have been attending professional development and college classes to learn how to do more projects in the classrooms, find more creative ways to cover the material and elicit more critical thinking from their students.
·       Our PA organized the purchase and sales of the great-looking LoMA sweatshirts I’m seeing every day.
When I see how much is going on in our little school, I’m so proud of our family.
Keep up the good work,
June 6              6:00                 Majors Show
June 7              4:00                 PSAL Sports’ Awards dinner
June 8                                      Chancellor’s Day – no school
June 12            6:00                 Senior Showcase
June 12                                    Last Day of classes
June 13-27                              Regents’ Week
June 27            11:00               Graduation
June 28                                    Last Day of School!
John Wenk

Dear LoMA,
            This week’s Shaka entry is from a graduating Senior and a Junior, respectively, reflecting on the growth that they have shown over their years here and the growth they hope to continue to show going forward.  Enjoy.

When I was asked to write this response I had a bit of an internal existential crisis. 

 It’s not easy taking note of how you’ve changed whether over the span of four years or even two months.

I can however, say that within this time span I’ve gone from angry to very grumpy to mildly less grumpy and finally not exactly mildly grumpy but not exactly NOT mildly grumpy.

Happy would be a bit of an overstatement.

Naturally my nature is that of a deathly shy introverted hermit who prefers the company of her bookshelf rather than that of those around her sometimes…

Okay, MOST times.

So how have I changed, you ask?

Well, it’s still a work in progress but I'm learning to swallow that shyness and be a little more confident in myself. My mentality has become that of a person who has finally realized that what some people think of me won’t matter two or six years down the road.

I've opened myself up more, made a pretty neat group of good friends, plus the most spectacular best friends a girl could ever have. 

I’ve also adopted more of a go-with-the-flow attitude and have become less panicky. Some of my compadres even seem to be in agreement that I’m now more Daria than Wicked Witch of the West. 

I hope to keep changing, and maybe one day ditch the doom and gloom cloud all together. The sarcasm and deadpan humor though, well, that’ll be sticking around for quite a while.

*                                  *                                  *

As this school year is coming to an end, I noticed a few things about myself.  I noticed that I have grown as a person and in terms of specific skills.  Instead of being this shy person I used to be, I became more involved in school activities, like participating in the school musical Grease, playing a sport, or even participating in more simple things like Game Night and the dances.  All activities led me to meet more people, actually get to know teachers better, and just be more sociable in general.  I wouldn’t say I went through tremendous growth this year, but I do feel like I grew a little more into the person I am becoming.  As for Senior year, I hope everything gets better and easier, because this year was very difficult.  I hope to continue to grow as a student, an athlete, an artist, and as a person.

Grow into who you’ll be; a little more each day.