Fall updates from Carmel classrooms

All Spanish Classes During the month of October, all students in grades PK-8 learned about the holiday Día de los Muertos in their Spanish classes. Students built an ofrenda in the breezeway by the administrative building on the Carmel campus. The ofrenda was in place during the week and included many of the traditional elements of an ofrenda, plus student artwork and photo remembrances of people that students choose to honor. All community members were invited to contribute to the ofrenda. Click here to see images of this project. Students also were invited to enjoy samples of Pan de Muerto, or a sweet bread deeply integrated with Día de los Muertos. The bread is typically eaten with foods favored by those honored with the ofrenda or is placed on the ofrenda itself to provide those honored with the essence of the food for energy following their journey on Día [...]

2022-11-23T10:30:52-08:00November 23, 2022|Lower Division Academics, Middle Division Academics, News|

Middle division artists self-express through mixed media portraiture

This fall, middle division art teacher, Lisa Condino, introduced students in grades 6-8 to textile artist Victoria Villasana with the intention of providing them access to a living artist who incorporates both personal heritage and activism into their artwork. “I wanted to begin the year with a self-portrait project as a way for me to get to know each of my students as individuals. It's been a really fun process to witness each student envision the way they wanted to be seen in the photograph and come to their own creative conclusions of how to express themselves using yarn as a design material,” said Condino. By blending the concept of personal expression through self-portraiture with mixed media elements, Condino provided space for each young artist to learn how to art direct their personal photoshoot and play with the perception of this image using three-dimensional texture and color. Students were [...]

2022-11-23T09:06:30-08:00November 22, 2022|Middle Division Academics, News|

Welcoming New Faculty and Staff to Campus for 2022-23

This fall, we welcomed a talented group of new educators to our community. At the upper school, the most significant changes were in new Dean of Students Phillip Koshi's office: Deirdre Newell joined us from New Roads School in Santa Monica on July 1 as director of counseling. Ms. Newell is a licensed marriage and family therapist with years of experience in school counseling with a special interest in the role of nature and the outdoors in mental health. Jacob Rivers, formerly the DEI coordinator at Viewpoint School (CA), was appointed as co-director of equity and inclusion to work alongside Isa Aguirre, who joined us last fall and worked closely with Dr. Mashadi Matabane, our former director of equity and inclusion, throughout the last year in support of both students and faculty. Shanae Vaifanua-Pace transitioned to associate director of student support and wellness, and has started graduate studies in [...]

From Hard Times to Hope: Grade 7 Relives the Great Depression

For many years, the School’s Grade 7 students have studied the Great Depression by participating in an immersive, cross-curricular “simulation.” This year’s foray included hands-on, experiential learning in math, history, and English. Over the course of the six week project, students gained both an understanding of the historical significance of the period, as well as a keen awareness of its toll on people’s lives. To kick off the project, each student chose an American “character” out of a hat. The students’ assigned character became their focus during the simulation—dictating the lens and worldview through which they approached their activities. While each character came with accompanying basic background information (like country of origin, ethnicity, job, etc.), students were tasked with fleshing out their character’s unique identity. They used research skills and creativity to create elaborate backstories, including how the financial crisis impacted their character’s day-to-day life. By the culmination [...]

2022-06-23T15:17:18-07:00April 28, 2022|FYE22, Middle Division Academics, News|

Pirate Profile: Wanzie ’26 Paints Her Way through the Pandemic

During remote learning, Grade 7 student Wanzie created a slew of stunning and impressive pieces for Mrs. Russell’s art class, and she found ways to nurture her growing passion for making art, despite not being able to attend in-person classes. Wanzie has always had fun with drawing and painting, but she says her more serious interest in art grew over time, especially once she turned ten. Wanzie was taking in-person painting classes before the COVID-19 pandemic began. However, once learning was forced to go remote, Wanzie signed up for online art classes, and she continued to develop her artistic skills while studying at home. In her online classes, Wanzie learned new, more advanced techniques like shading, drawing anatomy, and drawing architecture. She also started working with media beyond paint, and now, she says her favorite materials to work with include charcoal, watercolor, and ink. She also loves sketching and [...]

2022-05-13T18:34:54-07:00May 19, 2021|Middle Division Academics, News, News Posts-all|

Picture This: Grade 7 Students Shine in Photography Elective

Last semester, grade 7 students honed their photography skills in a photography elective taught by middle division history teacher Lisa Gordon. The course, which covered both traditional camera and iPhone photography, enhanced students’ technical know-how and artistic creativity. One of the elective’s main objectives was to help each student discover and refine their unique photographic style. Students began by learning basic photography “rules,” like taking photos with no clutter, and using leading lines to draw viewers’ eyes to a specific focal point. They practiced editing using advanced computer-based photo editing tools, and learned how to apply the examples provided by professional photographers to their own projects. Students also learned how to participate in peer critiques, thoughtfully reviewing their classmates’ photos and offering positive and constructive feedback. Over the course of the first semester, the difficulty level of assignments increased, and eventually students tackled complex projects like food photography and [...]

2021-11-23T12:58:29-08:00April 19, 2021|Middle Division Academics, News, News Posts-all|

Exciting Changes in World Languages at RLS

Teachers in Stevenson’s world languages department continue to develop curriculum and best practices to meet the needs of students across all three divisions. In particular, the cross-divisional department has a heightened focus on proficiency-based teaching and learning with the goal of developing real-world language skills and lifelong language learners. To assess the program the department uses the Avant STAMP™ (Standards-based Measurement of Proficiency) test. This test has been utilized at the Carmel Campus since 2014 and was recently added to the Pebble Beach Campus program. This year’s upper division level-two language students took the STAMP test in order to gauge their proficiency using the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Proficiency guidelines. After students took the test, the School received a report that rated each individual student's proficiency in four different competencies: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Phillip Koshi, the upper division world languages department chair, [...]

Grade 6 STEM Students Explore Representation in STEM Careers

Last month, Ms. Hanna’s and Mr. Sosky’s Grade 6 STEM students participated in a variety of hands-on, interactive activities related to Black History Month. One focus of their work was examining the historic underrepresentation of minority groups in STEM careers—particularly women and people of color. The students began their deep dive into STEM history by watching Hidden Figures, a movie depicting the true story of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson: three African-American women made it possible to launch John Glenn into space in 1962. Ms. Hanna explained, “Mr. Sosky and I agreed that watching Hidden Figures fit well for MLK Day and also had a STEM focus. Although it is a historical account of what occurred during the 1960s, I can verify that some of the same things were still happening in the 1990s when I was employed in the technology field...We talked about what that felt [...]

2021-11-23T12:59:56-08:00March 18, 2021|Middle Division Academics, News, News Posts-all|

CULTURE AND COLOR: Author Angela Joy Speaks to Lower and Middle Division Students about Identity, Community, and Inclusion

On February 23, Lower and Middle Division students and teachers attended a virtual assembly featuring writer Angela Joy, author of the new children’s book Black is a Rainbow Color, and then welcomed her for virtual class visits. All students had read Ms. Joy’s book as part of their observance of Black History Month. During the assembly, Ms. Joy spoke about what “color” can mean— it can be both a skin tone and a culture. She discussed what being Black means to her and her family. She also spoke about her desire to increase the representation of People of Color in children’s literature, describing how that dream drove her to write. She explained how powerful it is for young people to see characters who look like them in the books they read. She then read the entirety of her book aloud and explained the intricate meaning of the book’s illustrations [...]

2021-11-23T12:59:31-08:00March 18, 2021|Middle Division Academics, News|
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