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J u n e 2 0 0 9 | Vo l u m e 1 , n u m b e r 3

T HE O FFICIAL P UBLICATION OF THE M ARBLEHEAD C OMMUNITY C HARTER P UBLIC S CHOOL

Strategic Plan: A
Fine-Tuned Mission
BY DR. ALBERT F. ARGENZIANO

A
ll good schools continue to grow and
set new and higher standards. During
this school year, MCCPS has begun
the process of creating a new strategic plan
to guide the direction of our school for the
next several years. Each of us can support
this process in two ways: first, by cooperating
in certain necessary information gathering;
and second, by pondering the future, setting
broad aspirations and considering ways
MCCPS can evolve most effectively to meet
future needs and challenges. Eighth graders “learn by doing.”
The backbone and starting point for any
school’s strategic plan is its mission statement,
which reflects the values and terms of the
school’s mission and philosophy. Over the year,
MCCPS undertook a comprehensive review of
Do You Know Where Your
its mission, a process that involved input from
trustees, students, faculty, staff, and parents.
The Board of Trustees approved a revised mis-
Food Comes From?
sion statement that sets forth our shared pur- BY RYAN REDMOND lenses of history, health, labor, animal The Food Project, devoted since
pose and vision for what makes a school excel- welfare, technology and business. The 1991 to promoting “personal and

E
ric Schlosser and Charles
lent. In particular, the mission statement artic- students agreed and disagreed with social change through sustainable agri-
Wilson, in their 2006 book
ulated the four goals of our school: learning, the authors’ conclusions; were disgust- culture,” educates and engages youth
character, community and service. Chew on This, argue that “Food
ed, saddened, elated and positively and communities in all aspects of food
The strategic planning process as well is one of the most important things
impacted by the stories told; and and healthy eating.” Teenagers and
requires the collective efforts of all members you’ll ever buy”—yet many of us
emerged from the experience thinking volunteers work on The Food Project’s
of the community to identify and articulate know little about where our food
more clearly about where their food farm in Lincoln as well as its spaces in
specific areas that should be priorities for the comes from. Because of food’s impor-
comes from. Boston, Lynn, Swampscott and else-
school in upcoming years and, ultimately, to tance, we should know where it
On April 2 and 9, the separate where. The Food Project teaches
recommend specific initiatives that can be comes from, and that’s the basis of
undertaken to strengthen and enhance the eighth-grade advisories—along with about agriculture as well as leadership
their enlightening, troubling, and at
fabric of the school. The active involvement Mr. Stonecipher, Ms. Cullen-Hamzeh, and responsibility, and it offers paid
times, controversial book.
of students, families, alumni, faculty and staff Ms. Haley and myself—volunteered at summer positions for kids ages 14
Chew on This, which the 8th
in all aspects of the school creates the energy the Food Project farm in Lynn to learn and older.
graders read this year, investigates the
and enthusiasm that characterize the MCCPS more about where food comes from in
experience. fast food industry through the various See FOOD PROJECT, page 3
a hands-on way.

2 C’est 3 Meet Chan O Canada!


4
Magnifique! Hui Woo
Tasty Lessons
Learned

“The active involvement of students, families, alumni, faculty and staff, in all aspects of the school, creates the energy and
enthusiasm that characterizes the MCCPS experience.” — Dr. Albert Argenziano
Rosetta Stone in the Digital Age
MAGNA CH RTER BY KAY O’DWYER
Volume 1,Number 3,June 2009

Magna Charter Staff


A s the Rosetta Stone from Ancient Egypt un-
locked doors to understanding another lan-
guage, the Rosetta Stone language program is help-
& Contributors ing students at MCCPS acquire and enhance their
Dr. Albert Argenziano foreign language skills.
Jeff Barry New to the curriculum this year, the Rosetta
Kathleen Cormier
Stone software program is yet another example of
Nina Cullen-Hamzeh
Mary McRae how MCCPS integrates technology and caters to
Kay O'Dwyer the diverse learning styles of students. The Rosetta
Ryan Redmond Stone program complements class teaching and
Norma Ross
Leah, Maria, and Isabella practice French.
permits students to work independently on their
Mike Ruth language acquisition and fluency. Similar in many practice as they wish at home.
Laura Smith
ways to the ALEKS math program, Rosetta Stone is In the beginning, 4th and 5th-graders had a
Tim Stonecipher
Nancy Marland Wolinski
an individually designed program where students required amount of time that they needed to com-
can progress at their own pace and gain skills as plete each week at home; currently, their foreign
MCCPS Board of Trustees they practice Spanish or French. language class time is spent in the lab working on
Emil Ronchi, Chair According to French teacher Quincy Carpenter, Rosetta Stone. Foreign language teacher Rosanna
Cathy Vaucher, Vice Chair “It provides options for students with different Longenbaker reports that students are enthusiastic
Dr. John Sullivan, Treasurer
learning styles and paces the students individually. and “most of them are enjoying it.” It is almost a
John McEnaney, Clerk
Nina Cullen-Hamzeh I sense differences in the students’ participation in competition among some students to see who is
Cynthia Canavan class and in their motivation to learn the language. furthest along!
Matt Cronin They are able to gain confidence from spending Indeed, a highly-motivated student could pro-
Dr. Alice de Koning time with the program.” gress through the program and work at a high-
Chris Fauci As with any program, students benefit most school level to enhance their study of French or
Bob Sousa
from consistent and regular practice. Students from Spanish.
MCCPS School Staff the upper grades have some opportunity to use the What an interesting and fun way to acquire a
Dr. Albert Argenziano lab in school, and of course, they may do as much foreign language!
Interim Managing Director
Nina Cullen-Hamzeh
Academic Director
Nutrition News
Eileen Perry
Assistant to the Directors
Molly Wright
Student Services Coordinator
C’est Magnifique!
Jed O'Connor
Director of Special Education
Students Learn Tasty Lessons at French Banquet
Jeffrey Barry BY MARY MCRAE banquet menu. Students helped prepare foods
Business Manager and then brought samples to students and teach-

Our Mission
S tudents and guests at MCCPS recently
enjoyed a culinary tour of southern France,
orchestrated by the school’s Director of Nutrition,
ers for feedback.
The banquet was a true community effort.
MCCPS fosters a community that empowers Teachers, students, staff, and parents pitched in
Chef Laura DeSantis.
children to become capable, self-determining, fully to help cook, set up, serve, and clean up at the
“It is so important to get children to eat things
engaged individuals who are critical and creative event. Local businesses including Shubie’s donat-
to help them fuel their bodies and minds,” said
thinkers committed to achieving their highest ed food and other materials.
Chef DeSantis. “Provencal Cuisine is one
intellectual, artistic, social, emotional, and physical of the most flavorful and healthy, because
potential. We are dedicated to involving, learning of the use of all the olive oil, garlic and
from, participating in, and serving our school
herbs (among other things).”
community and the community at large.
Chef DeSantis collaborated with
French teacher Quincy Carpenter on the
Magna Charter is the official program. 8th grade students prepared
newsletter of MCCPS.
for the buffet by rehearsing dialogues
MCCPS about making and ordering food. They
17 Lime Street studied materials about the regions and
Marblehead, MA 01945 histories of the foods on the menu.
Phone: 781-631-0777 In the French cooking enrichment,
Fax: 781-631-0500 DeSantis and Carpenter worked with a
www.marbleheadcharter.org
small group of students to create the Thanks to our many volunteers.

2 W H AT ’ S N EW ( S ) AT M CC PS — J U N E 2 0 0 9
Meet Chan Hui Woo FOOD PROJECT
Continued from page 1
BY NORMA ROSS
While one advisory toiled under the gray, chilly

C han Hui Woo, our MCCPS intern, is participat-


ing in the International Internship Program and
comes to us from In-Cheon South Korea. As a student
skies of April 2 and the other half worked in relative
warmth under blue skies April 9, all contributed in
similar ways. Directed by the knowledgeable Food
at In-Cheon University, he is studying English litera- Project staffers, they weeded plant beds, sifted com-
ture and language. Upon graduation, Mr. Woo would post, spread the compost on the beds, laid wood
like to enter the business side of the sports world. chips for walking paths, and participated in some fun
While here, he hopes for ample opportunities to collaborative games and activities. They learned that
experience American culture. even in a relatively small plot for growing vegetables,
Each Wednesday, Mr. Woo has taught an enrich- the farm would be able to produce 20,000 pounds of
ment aptly titled Korean Culture. He is 24 years old food in a season, a fascinating fact noted by 8th grader
but explains to the students, “In Korea, I am 25; you Forrest Lacy. The focus was clear: to be aware of
are one on the day you are born.” Chan Hui teaches where our food comes from and of “all the hard, dili-
about the current lifestyles of South Korea and the gent work put into the food we eat,” as 8th grader
cultural arts, performances, sports and games of his Mr.Woo worked closely with Reading Specialist Ann Tayla Cote commented.
Chandler. Chandler says, "It's been a pleasure work-
country. Students have enjoyed dressing up in tradi- Students enjoyed working outside in the fresh air,
ing with Mr.Woo this year. He has been an inspira-
tional Korean costumes, tasting Korean snacks and learning by doing, and working for something larger
tion to the students and a role model, exuding his
learning first-hand about life in Korea. In return, Mr. enthusiasm and desire to learn. He is always eager than themselves. For 8th grader Chris Sico, it was
Woo is eager to learn all that we as a community can to try something new. The students love him." “the best field trip,” one in which he felt that he had
teach him about America as he strives to improve his “helped the community.” Andrew Keenan agreed, say-
spoken English. Charter families. Presently, he is staying in ing, “Doing this gave me a sense that I was greatly
Anne Chandler has enjoyed having Mr. Woo par- Marblehead at our house (Norma and Bill Ross, with helping others and making an impact on the world.”
ticipate in her classes. “The most difficult thing for Charter students Will, Sam and Margaret). It is a Here at MCCPS, Chef Laura DeSantis and her cre-
him is the idioms,” she said. “I let the children explain pleasure to be his host and the children are gaining so ative kitchen staff daily produce good, healthy, tasty
what he questions; it’s a terrific dual-learning situa- much from the experience. We truly have made a food from scratch. Many students study cooking during
tion.” good friend and of course we all now wish to visit Enrichment, and are involved in growing beautiful food
Mr. Woo began his American experience living South Korea someday! plants in garden plots adjacent to the school building.
with Mr. Ruth, then spent time in Nahant with the Mr. Woo will be here until September and is open By virtue of the care and thought gone into nutrition,
Nocera Family. He has enjoyed peeks into American to any and all invitations; there is still time to share an health and wellness here at MCCPS, students already
life through the friendly generosity of some of our experience with him, and you will be so glad you did! think about food in deep and complex ways.

Sports News
Track season is upon us and the Navigators
have faced some tough opponents, but pulled
through with several wins. Check out the
impressive stats below! – Mr. Ruth

In a meet against Covenant Christian Academy


of Peabody:

• 6th grader Nicola Russell placed second in the


1-mile with a time of 7 minutes, 28 seconds.
Will’s long jump. Brad and John pass the baton. Fiachra flies.
• 8th grader Nate Fowler placed first in the 1-
mile with a time of 5 minutes, 59 seconds. • 6th grader Carly Hood placed first in the 200m • 7th grader Peter Slattery took first in the boys’
with a time of 33.57 seconds, 8/10ths of a sec- 400m with a time of 1 minute, 3 seconds.
• 8th grader Jasmine Lopes tied for second in the ond ahead of the second-place runner, 5th
100m with a time of 14.8 seconds. • In the long jump, 8th grader Johnny Lopes took
grader Sara Martin.
first place with a jump of 15 feet, and 8th grad-
• 7th grader Peter Slattery placed first in the • 8th graders Kris Liti and Johnny Lopes, along er Carolyn Claveau took first place with a jump
100m with a time of 12.6 seconds. with 6th grader John Sullivan, took 1st, 2nd, of 11 feet.
• In the second heat, 8th grader Johnny Lopes and 3rd place in the boys 200m, with times
• In the shot put, 6th grader Carly Hood took
placed first with a time of 13.0 seconds, a sec- ranging from 28.6-33.6 seconds.
first place with a throw of 20 feet, 11.25 inches,
ond ahead of the second place-runner, 8th • 5th grader Oliva Comeau took 3rd place in the and 8th grader F.J. Murphy took first place with
grader Forrest Lacy. 400m with a time of 1 minute, 24 seconds. a throw of 25 feet, 9.75 inches.

W H AT ’ S N EW ( S ) AT M CC PS — J U N E 2 0 0 9 3
O Canada
Mr. Barry blogs from the North
BY JEFF BARRY Old Quebec City for a nice
dinner.
On Wednesday, the 8th grade class arrived in On Saturday, we visited
Montreal and the kids suited up for a ride down the Montmorency Falls, surround-
Lechine Rapids. Each jet boat had a 350 HP Volvo ing Québec City. The Falls cas-
diesel engine capable of hitting 60 mph on open cade from a height of 270 feet
water. We took a ride down some serious waves … (100 feet higher than Niagara
nary a stitch was dry (or warm) by docking. We Falls) where the Montmorency
headed into the city for dinner at Buffet Kim Foo, a and St. Lawrence rivers meet.
mega all-you-can-eat situation that pleased the kids From a bridge directly over the
to no end. I warned them never to stand between a Falls we got a close-up view of
buffet table and me. the awesome power of nature.
On Thursday, we met our guide for a tour of We crossed to the Isle of
Montreal. We saw monuments, parks, and buildings Orleans, where Canada's
dating from the 1600’s to modern times. Our first strawberries are produced. Students (and Ms. Haley) prepare for a wild ride.
stop was the Notre Dame Basilica that dates back to We continued onto Ste-Anne-
1824. The interior is filled with hand-carved, gold- de-Beaupré and the town’s majestic double-spired songs, and games. The students learned about the
leaf artwork and dozens of stained glass windows. basilica, which was rebuilt on the same spot many history of maple syrup production, played spoons,
We visited Olympic Park, with its iconic leaning times. Although the present basilica was consecrated and participated in a traditional Canadian folk
tower, site of the ’76 Olympics. A ride up the exteri- only 30 years ago, worshippers have credited the dance.
or in a glass elevator brought us to an amazing view shrine with miraculous cures since it was first built On Sunday, our final stop was the Observatoire
of the city. We checked out the Olympic swimming in 1658. 17th-century sailors believed that St. Anne de la Capitale, atop the tallest building in the city.
and diving facility. Next door is the Biodome – con- protected them from shipwrecks. We dined at the From this ideal vantage point, we were able to see
verted from the Olympic bike track into a multi- Sugar Shack, in the hearty manner of early French- sweeping views of the city and review many of the
environment divided into 4 ecoscapes and home to Canadian loggers. Set deep in the pine forests, we sites we had seen during the preceding days. It was
over 4,300 different animals. We headed north to had a memorable evening of traditional feasting, a fitting end to a terrific trip.

E x h i b i t i o n P r e v i e w – Wo r k & We l l n e s s
Grade 4 Grade 5 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 8
Grade 4 students “trav- Grade 5 students have “Gone Grade 6 students have Grade 7 math students are Grade 8 students have been
eled” to Canada, and took Green,” growing and caring become baseball consult- participating in the “Reflecting Back and Looking
a brief “journey” to for edible plants, document- ants for a MLB team and Olympics with events Forward” while working on
Mexico, focusing on geog- ing conditions and growth will display real-time data including the rock wall, the the creation of a portfolio of
raphy, history and culture. with photos. Students will for the 2009 season using shot put, the forty-yard writing to be followed with a
They have also studied prepare and serve food using spreadsheets. Guests will dash, discus, and hurdles. public speaking presentation.
Ancient China, reading the their plants at an Exhibition be challenged to a hand- They are charting their This project is the culmina-
Chinese folktale,“A Grain dinner theater. Entertain- made mathematical base- abilities, setting goals, and tion of the students’ time at
of Rice,” and developed a ment will be the 5th grade’s ball game. Students inter- predicting and estimating MCCPS as they reflect on
script based on such. version of “Are You Smarter viewed an adult about ways to increase endurance their learning and growth.
Students also composed than a Fifth Grader?” Be how baseball has affected and stamina. They also cre- Writings include a gradua-
couplets, haikus and free prepared to be stumped! his/her life and produced ated a wellness wheel, set- tion speech, three poems, an
verse. In Reading, students Students studied 18th centu- a piece of historical fiction ting goals for fitness, nutri- Autobiography as a Math
focused on folktales with ry artists specializing in based on this. Students tion, social/emotional Student, a Diary as an Eater,
a spotlight on American botanical prints and created wrote position papers on health, and overall student and a persuasive and genetic
tales such as John Henry their own prints. They also international players, wellness. Students have essay. They will practice their
and Pecos Bill. researched westward expan- designed baseball cards become experts on Greek presentations during morn-
sion and created simple in French, created original and Roman celebrities and ing Community Meetings
machines. logo stencils for team will present the ideas, lega- leading up to Exhibition and
t-shirts, and learned Take cies, and achievements of graduation.
Me Out to the Ballgame!” these visionaries.
for the keyboard.

4 W H AT ’ S N EW ( S ) AT M CC PS — J U N E 2 0 0 9
An Extraordinary Year From the Desk
We Have Many Accomplishments to Celebrate! of Mr.S.
reetings! May was
BY NINA CULLEN-HAMZEH G Teen Self-Esteem
Month, so I wanted to
Board News
Our Strategic Plan was adopted by the Board of pass on tips for helping
Trustees and embraced by the community. A bifurcat- children recognize and
ed leadership model was approved by the Board, and appreciate themselves.
a two-year contract was extended to the Academic Healthy self-esteem is a
Director (no more interim!). New members were child’s armor against the
added to the Board of Trustees, the Finance and challenges of the world.
Governance Committees. The Board endorsed the
Kids who feel good about themselves have an
recommendation of the Blue Ribbon Expansion Task
easier time handling conflicts and resisting nega-
Force to add two sections of 3rd grade, and we met
tive pressures.They smile more, enjoy life more,
with the owner of the building to discuss the use of Sixth grade students enjoyed a week at the
additional space. The annual auction and other and find ways to be more realistic and optimistic.
environmental camp, Nature's Classroom, in
fundraising efforts have been successful. Greenfield, New Hampshire. By contrast, kids with low self-esteem are more
likely to be anxious, isolated, self-critical, and have
Educational Community etc.) Foreign language was reinstated for 4th & 5th a low frustration tolerance.
MCCPS was included in a professional develop- grades. The gym was repainted. The HVAC units As educators and parents, we help students
ment day hosted by Marblehead Public Schools. A were cleaned, and the leaks in Community Room become confident, curious and courteous. In con-
second graduate course was offered at MCCPS were repaired. Grants from the van Otterloo Family
junction with KidsHealth.org, here are some tips
through Endicott College. We hosted an Expanded Foundation and the Friends of the Marblehead
Learning Time Study Tour that was attended by for promoting healthy self-esteem:
Public Schools will enable us to create an outdoor
Newburyport Public Schools and several charter 1. Watch what you say. Kids are very sensitive to
learning experience for 7th & 8th graders.
schools. The Friends of Marblehead Public Schools The Outdoor Classroom is flourishing, our organ- parents’words. Remember to praise your child not
funded our 1st musical, and the Magna Charter was ic vegetable garden was expanded, and our ‘green’ only for a job well done, but also for effort and
resurrected – three issues this year! and recycling efforts have been enhanced. determination. Reward desire and completion
instead of outcome.
Bustling School Thank You!
2. Be a positive role model. If you are excessive-
We have been at full enrollment all year with a Many thanks to everyone who has invested in us
waiting list at every grade level. The children enjoyed ly harsh, pessimistic, or unrealistic about your abili-
with time, money, expertise, or goodwill. Your enthu-
several field trips (Peabody Essex Museum, the ICA, ties and limitations, your child may naturally mir-
siasm, dedication, and generosity have enabled us to
Nature’s Classroom, the Museum of Science, Canada, enjoy an extraordinary year! ror your lead. Nurture your own self-esteem.
3. Identify and redirect your child’s inaccurate
beliefs. It is important for parents to identify kids’
P TO N e w s irrational beliefs about themselves, whether they
are about perfection, attractiveness, ability, etc.
By virtue of our roles as parents and teachers, we are all members of the MCCPS Parent Teacher
Organization. Our PTO has existed for just over two years and we’ve been busy. Help children be more realistic in evaluating them-
selves.
Our mission is to enhance the connection between school, home, and community, and is an 4. Be spontaneous and affectionate.Your love
opportunity to enrich all of our lives. We welcome new families to the school, compile and dis-
will boost your child’s self-esteem. Give hugs and
tribute the school directory, and provide monthly opportunities for parents to come together
tell your kid(s) how proud you are of them.
to plan events, address relevant issues such as internet safety and high school transition,
Frequent and honest praise is essential in fostering
and socialize. We provide support, congratulations, and thanks to teachers during Teacher
Appreciation Week and throughout the year. We oversee the gift book program that brings an honest and clear self-image.
new reading material into the classrooms, support the outdoor classroom, and assist with 5. Create a safe and loving home environment.
grant writing. We oversee PTO enrichment weeks including the film festival, arranging for Kids who do not feel safe at home will suffer
speakers, and host a community service day where the students make treats for abandoned immensely from low self-esteem. A child who is
animals, gift bags for the homeless, and cards for our armed forces. We coordinate events exposed to repeated fighting and arguing can
for Spirit Week. become depressed and withdrawn.Watch for
As we said, we’ve been busy and as with every new venture, we’re still learning and have problems in school, trouble with peers, and any
endured. We have, however, persevered and endured. We’ve said it before (and we’ll say it other hints of personal difficulty. Deal with these
again): this is not your “mother’s PTO,” so please come find out what we’re about and get issues sensitively and swiftly, and always respect
involved. your child’s perceptions.

Have a wonderful summer. See you in September! Take care, Mr. Stonecipher

W H AT ’ S N EW ( S ) AT M CC PS — J U N E 2 0 0 9 5
MAGNA CH RTER
SOON-TO-BE HAPPEN I NGS

“Next year, MCCPS


will be 15 years old,
and we will have
plenty to celebrate.
Thank you for
being a part of
our community!
— Nina Cullen-Hamzeh

MAGNA CHARTER June 2009


What’s New(s) at MCCPS

“Our students Dear MCCPS Families and Friends, program they offer to students. Our Board is com-
mitted to nurturing our community and growing
enjoy a remark- We’re all aware that our country is struggling our school.
able educational financially, and likely we all have a relative, friend, Sound optimistic? Absolutely! Through the gen-
or neighbor who has been hard hit by the economic erosity of the van Otterloo Family Foundation and
experience that downturn. Municipalities are scrambling to find the the Friends of the Marblehead Public Schools, we
routinely results funds to maintain services, and schools will not be will create a new outdoor learning experience for
immune to the inevitable cuts. Just recently, as a 7th & 8th graders. Spanish will be expanded into
in high levels of result of the FY10 projected numbers from the 6th grade. An overnight is in the works for 7th
student achieve- state, Dr. Argenziano and I were directed by the grade, strings and choral programs are expected,
MCCPS Finance Committee to cut over $100,000 and our next musical is sure to wow everyone. Our
ment.” from next year’s budget (we’re hoping that the 2nd fund raising, grant writing, and friend building
— Nina Cullen-Hamzeh quarter funding will be better). The cuts hurt, but efforts will be expanded, and with your help, we’ll
we’re not discouraged. be better than ever.
Our students enjoy a remarkable educational Next year, MCCPS will be 15 years old, and we
experience that routinely results in high levels of will have plenty to celebrate. Thank you for being a
student achievement. On the recent Satisfaction part of our community!
Survey, our parents stated that they feel welcome, Sincerely,
valued, and respected. Our faculty continues to
Nina Cullen-Hamzeh
devote themselves tirelessly to ever-improving the Academic Director