Head of School May 26, 2023
In this final week of school before the ceremonial season, the Upper School students have been immersed in their May Terms, a signature year-end enrichment experience that allows students to explore, with like-minded peers, some areas of personal interest.
Many May Term courses provide new outlets for students’ creativity. In Audio Storytelling, participants write and record original stories and bring them to life with sound effects and music. Sound City gives students the chance to write and record their own track in a professional studio. In Furniture Building, they design and build a full-scale piece of furniture, using appropriate tools and joinery techniques. In Reality and Ray Guns, sci-fi aficionados explore science fiction in literature, film, television, and radio and produce videos to be shared with the community while in Board Game Design, students learn the steps involved in creating an engaging gaming experience: from conceptualization, to prototyping, to play testing, iterative design, and marketing. And in the Publishing course, reporters embedded with other May Term groups to document their adventures through photos, videos, and interviews.
Other May Terms immerse students in exploring the resources of this city. Cincinnati Treasures includes walking tours of downtown landmarks: Smale Park, Washington Park, Findlay Market, City Hall, and several museums (CAC, Taft, Union Terminal). Parks and Recreation focuses on the Hamilton County Parks system. By hiking, biking, and canoeing as well as doing some service work, students explore fast-disappearing habitats and tour archaeological treasures. In Adventuring, students are introduced to rock climbing, orienteering, endurance sports, kayaking, and scuba diving around Cincinnati, learning from experts who have tested their own limits in pursuit of personal growth. In The Writing is on the Wall, students view some of the fabulous murals that festoon buildings around Cincinnati and then, guided by a professional muralist, create their own here at school. Animal Behavior takes students to the Cincinnati Zoo, the Newport Aquarium, and an animal rescue to learn about potential career paths in animal welfare and veterinary science.
Many seminars focus on valuable life skills. In Cooking and Culture, students make and sample dishes from across the world, meeting with chefs who specialize in food from various countries to learn basic and advanced cooking skills. In Engine-eering, a hands-on introduction to the design and operation of internal combustion engines, students work in teams to disassemble, maintain, troubleshoot and re-assemble small engines from lawn mowers and leaf blowers and gain an understanding of mechanical and automotive engineering. Ways of Being Well focuses on adolescent mental health issues. By talking with mental health professionals and visiting a treatment center, students learn how to promote good mental health through art therapy, yoga, mindfulness, aromatherapy nutrition, exercise, etc.
Two very popular May Terms explore issues of social justice. Guilty Until Proven Innocent studies wrongful convictions in the American justice system and engages students in examining how the system could be made more just. They visit a jail, the Hamilton County crime lab, the federal courthouse, and the Ohio Innocence Project. They also meet with exonerees, who served decades in prison for crimes they did not commit. The Gullah-Geechee Cultural Immersion Trip explores the history of the diasporic Black community located off the coast of South Carolina.
Finally, during the May Term period, several students are traveling overseas on one of three international excursions, sponsored by the world language faculty, 10-day trips to France, Spain, and Italy.
This ambitious program requires a great deal of energy not only from our students but from their teachers, who design and sponsor these valuable activities. Many thanks to Director of Experiential Learning Karen Glum and to the entire Upper School faculty, for providing this enriching experience for our students.
Thanks, all, for another great year!!
Christopher P. Garten
Head of School
Key Dates & Events
May — Asian American & Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Monday, May 29 — Memorial Day. No School
Tuesday, May 30 — Doherty Grades 1-5 Closing Exercises, 8:45 a.m.
Tuesday, May 30 — Lotspeich Fifth Grade Closing Exercises, 10:15 a.m.
Wednesday, May 31 — Middle School Eighth Grade Closing Program & Reception, 9 a.m.
Friday, June 2 — Graduation, 6 p.m.