Berkeley Hall is a vibrant community of students, parents, teachers, administrators and staff who love to have fun! One of our beloved traditions is the Bobcat Family Camp Out - our biggest friend-raising activity of the year! One Friday night in September, BHS families are invited to pitch their tents and camp overnight on our football field in the middle of our 66-acre, mountaintop campus. Families come together to enjoy each other's company and have an evening of exciting games, delicious BBQ, s'mores by the campfire, a movie al fresco, sleep under the stars, and wake to a gourmet breakfast. This year, over 500 people participated in this annual tradition. It was a blast!
The EK students have learned the meaning of all the words to thePledge of Allegiance. They painted the flag as they learned the symbolism of the 13 stripes, 50 stars, and all the colors. And now they're more than ready to be on stage and lead their Grandparents & Special Friends in the Pledge of Allegiance and America the Beautiful on Tuesday's Grandparents & Special Friends Day.
The 2019 BHS Mock Trial team did a superb job on their two evenings at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse using their critical thinking skills in fielding questions and objections from the opposing teams while adapting to directives from the bench. Both Alex W. and Bella L. were awarded MVP by the opposing teams for their outstanding work as attorneys, however, every member of the team had a chance to shine - and they did! Congratulations to one and all!
Bobcat Chorus shined in their first performance of the year! They did an outstanding job performing two pieces in two-part harmony. The first piece was the theme song to the movie Neverending Story which was re-popularized by the Stranger Things series this year. Their second piece was High Hopes from the band Panic! At The Disco. This performance was a huge success!
This week, 2nd graders were super stealthy kindness buddies! As a class, we read the book What Does it Mean to Be Kind? and brainstormed things we can do here in class to show kindness to others. Then, each student picked another student’s name out of a hat to be their super stealthy kindness buddy. Their task was to complete one act of kindness for the other person by the end of the day. They kept it a secret, slipping in compliments, favors, and kind words all day long. Finally, at the end of the day, they had a big reveal and each student found out who their secret buddy was! "We had a blast and it kept the good vibes going all day long," said one teacher. Check out the pictures for a sample of some of the kind things they did for each other.
As we think about and pray for those directly affected by the tragic shooting in Santa Clarita, we also continue to revisit our three-pronged approach to safety: educating our children, refining our safety protocols, and unifying as a community.
The events prompted by a student within Saugus High School remind us once again that there is much more power in creating safety from within than imposing it from without and after the fact – more power in increasing our students’ agency and social-emotional learning than in only ramping up physical security.
We start by educating our children to feel worthy and connected to themselves, their peers, and the world around them – to feel a part of a larger whole in which they play a unique and important part. Through social-emotional learning, children are given tools to constructively deal with their feelings and to practice healthy interactions with others. I remain grateful to all of you and to our teachers for our continued partnership to rear children who know the value of respecting themselves and others, who take responsibility for their actions and their community, who are honest in their communication, and who shine the light of compassion on every person and situation.
In addition to putting a priority on social-emotional learning, Berkeley Hall has very strong safety procedures and protocols in place. Because the safety of your children is our number one priority, our leadership team continuously monitors our emergency procedures, reviews safety plans with local authorities, and mindfully implements and refines safe practices on campus.
This combined approach keeps our community safe from the inside out. We are grateful that every member of our community plays a part in this effort, and as a community, we stand united in support of our core values of respect, responsibility, honesty, and compassion.
The Math Olympiads is an annual contest that is now in its 41st year, with over 5,200 teams made up of 120,000 students participating from every state and thirty-five countries around the world. It's an opportunity for students to compete as mathletes and to stretch their mathematical reasoning skills. Berkeley Hall will compete with two teams, one made up of 4th-6th graders and the other of 7th-8th graders. This week was the first of five contests this year and winners will be announced next spring. Go Bobcats!
My Dream Room mini-model introduces several art concepts to 5th graders. They work as architects to design a 3D model with a functional door and windows from one sheet of paper. Then they work as an interior designer, incorporating one of the color groups we've learned about over the years. They design furniture, trap doors, unique features, along with patterns and textures that define the theme of their room. This project actually functions as an elaborate color test, for classmates should be able to identify the color group easily that each student chose to work with. Devloping good craftsmanship plays a big role in this 3D project!
We are so grateful for all the first responders and emergency personnel who kept our community safe this week during the Getty Fire. Berkeley Hall's campus was untouched by fire and the air quality up on our mountaintop stayed surprisingly good throughout. But, because we were within the Mandatory Evacuation Zone, we, along with neighboring schools, closed Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. During that time, firefighters fought the blazes, while air support dropped water and fire-retardant to keep the flames at bay. Many roads were closed to traffic and open to emergency vehicles. Our community of families remained strong and supportive throughout.
During the mandatory evacuation, BHS teachers, staff, and administrators were hard at work preparing for the students' return. Our classrooms stayed clean and ready for learning, events that were postponed were rescheduled, and teachers adjusted and revised lessons to ensure student learning stayed on course.
Everyone was very happy to return to campus on Thursday to re-engage in normal school activity. Our youngest students returned in costumes to participate in our traditional Halloween Parade. We're all very grateful for Berkeley Hall and the clear direction and love shown by our administrators during this time.
Berkeley Hall does Halloween in a big way. We have four big events. From the JH Halloween Dance, planned by the JH Student Council, to the INT Halloween Howl complete with an amazing haunted house and games galore, to the quintessential ECD-PRI Halloween Parade in which the younger students show their costumes around the school. The season is kicked off by the ECD Fall Festival, where games are played, ponies are ridden, reptiles are held, animals petted, and pumpkins are decorated. It's a scary and wonderful time of year filled with colors and costumes.
A big Thank You goes to everyone that made these events possible and spent hours and hours of their time and energy decorating, constructing, de-constructing, and cleaning up from these fabulous events!
Over 1100 firefighters worked around the clock this week to contain the Getty Fire and keep our communities safe. Our lunch provider, Organic Kids L.A., donated Berkeley Hall students’ pre-ordered lunches (and those of several other schools) each day we were closed to the West Hollywood Fire Department. Firefighters were more than grateful to have this unexpected sustenance, not only for hungry appetites, but as compassionate outreach from BHS and OKLA.
Our students led a special Bobcat Assembly to teach us about Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, when people all over the world celebrate the triumph of good over evil. The event included a special dance performance, short video, and a presentation by the students. Thank you, parent volunteers, for organizing such an informative and fun assembly!
Our ECD students had a wonderful time making new (furry and scaly) friends, decorating pumpkins, riding ponies, and playing games at the Fall Festival! A big thank you to Reptacular Animals for all the education they provided about their reptiles and to all our parent volunteers.
Berkeley Hall took part in the Great California Shake Out, along with 10.8 million people who participated in an earthquake drill at 10:17 AM on 10/17! We all got to the field quickly, quietly and safely. We’re ready for anything!
We are excited to announce the arrival of our first ever 3D Printer! Innovation has always been an important element of a BHS education, and we can't wait to see what our students will learn with this new technology. Stay tuned for more updates from our growing Innovation Lab.
Allen R., Class of 2013, recently came back to Berkeley Hall to surprise his brother Milan in Kindergarten after being away for a full year in the Army! He shared, "Seeing my brother for the first time in a year made me so happy. He always looks up to me, and now that he’s at Berkeley Hall, I feel he will follow in my footsteps and work hard to be successful. Berkeley Hall taught me how to strive for success in life, my teachers prepared me educationally, and I learned how to achieve goals I never thought I could accomplish. Being mentally prepared for high school was a big advantage because I knew how to better myself in life, as I pursued becoming a doctor, and as I took my first steps into adulthood by joining the army. I’m grateful my brother is getting the same preparation for life, it has served me well." We're so proud of this Bobcat! Thanks for coming to visit, Allen.
Every graduating BHS class designs and creates a shield. But how did this tradition start? In 1945, Francesca Leland (Rowan) wanted to give a special gift to her Latin teacher, Miss Cutler. So, she created the shield in secret and presented it to her class and their beloved teacher at graduation. 74 years later, this cherished BHS tradition continues with each graduating class building their own shield representing their class motto. BHS is a safe environment for all students, which allows them to try new things and push beyond their limits with no fear.
The Berkeley Hall Aquatic Bobcats took the plunge yesterday and had their first meet against Stephen S. Wise. Because both teams have so many new members, this was a mock meet, where swimmers, and parents, were taught meet etiquette, along with reading the heat sheets, and how to line up and swim the various events.
We have some great swimmers, so come on out and cheer them on!
Student Council 2019-2020 election results are in. Eighth grade students submitted applications for self-nomination, prepared and presented speeches, and participated in our school’s governing process. Congratulations to our new cabinet of elected officers:
President: Alex W. Co-Vice Presidents: Bella L. and Jimmy W. Secretary: Ashan A.
“This is a very strong group of leaders and we are really looking forward to working with them and the Middle School representatives,” said Ms. Cooke, Middle School Advisor.
Student Council wouldn’t be complete without class representatives from grades 1-8. Each class selects 2-3 students to represent the voice of the larger school community. Representatives, rotating throughout the year, attend weekly meetings on Friday during Community Time to represent the ideas of their classes. Together with the officers, the representatives form our BHS Student Council.
Congratulations to the following representatives for fall term:
1st Grade: Elias K. and Hannah O.
2nd Grade: Jeremiah P. and Sarah V.
3rd Grade: Valentina P. and Ryan V.
4th Grade: Lari M., Sydney S., and Brady W.
5th Grade: Gianna M. and Zairah S.
6th Grade: London I. and Isa M.
7th Grade: Moises D. and Ava S.
8th Grade: Kiki I. and Simone M.
“These students demonstrate leadership and teamwork every day at BHS. They are creative problem-solvers and critical thinkers who are compassionate agents of change,” added Mrs. Morse, Advisor for Grades 1-5.
The purpose of the Berkeley Hall Student Council is to give students an opportunity to develop leadership skills by organizing and carrying the mission of the school through student-ledactivities and service projects. In addition to planning events that contribute to school spirit and community welfare, Student Council is the voice of the student body. Our meeting structure loosely follows Roberts Rules of Order as students learn to set and follow an agenda, take minutes, and report to their constituents.
All officers and class representatives will be introduced at Monday’s Bobcat Assembly.
Cyber expert Lori Getz spoke to our 4th through 8th grade students and their parents about privacy, cyber safety, and what conversations we should be having about technology. She placed an emphasis on the importance of balance and on parental involvement. The bottom line, in her opinion: be there to guide them. In addition to teaching the kids how to protect themselves, she also provided an opportunity for students to tell the adults present (in small break out groups) what their thoughts are about privacy and Internet use.
Wondering why 1st through 8th grades have a late start on Wednesdays? Our teachers value this dedicated time to meet with their Depth of Study (DoS) groups. These mixed-grade-level groups each focus on a different subject to research and implement curriculum best practices. They use student work to make sure their methods are effective and that their curriculums are in alignment. Our teachers do this because they know that the best way to improve student learning is to improve teaching. We love our teachers! Thank you for your commitment to educating our students.
Here are all the articles, resources, and tips we've found for you this summer! Scroll through to find fun ideas, perfect for summer in Los Angeles! If you'd like to follow us on Social Media, you can find us on Instagram (@berkeleyhallschool) and on Facebook (Berkeley Hall School).
One of the year's culminating events includes the 5th grade’s performance of Miracle in Philadelphia, a musical about the Constitutional Convention in 1787 written by Jeff Lantos and Bill Augustine. Our fifth graders danced, sang, and acted their way through an abridged version of this musical that details the story of our nation’s birth. Congratulations to our 5th grade students, Director, Mr. McManus, Musical Director, Mr. Fontaine, and Choreographer, Ms. Hygate, for a fine performance!
The fourth grade production of Villains in the Gold Field is a true Berkeley Hall melodrama. The show has big laughs, big drama, big romance, and a dastardly villain. Every year, the fourth grade puts on a production that relates to their study of the California Gold Rush. The Gold Rush represents a large part of their spring social studies learning, and it is always a highlight to act out and dress like the time period that forever changed the future of our state. Many, many thanks to Mr. Fontaine for the music and adaptation of the screenplay, Mr. McManus for his selfless work with the kids in Drama, and to alumni parent Cindy Hygate for wonderful choreography.
Our sweet second graders presented "Insect Interviews!" It was a week long project, which they started by choosing an insect to learn about. They spent one class period per day researching facts about their bugs. In the end, they turned their facts into questions and answers, which they then read on stage in Hodges theater, dressed as their insect 🦋 🐞🕷 🐜 It was super cute and very informative. Check out these costumes!
We rediscovered this photo of a 5th grade field trip that visited the Ronald Reagan Library in the early 90s, and ran into Mr. Reagan himself! This field trip to the library and museum is a much loved 5th grade tradition. The students get to visit the Learning Center, where they are assigned a government role and asked to work together to solve a real-life problem. It's fun, encourages team work, and teaches our students all about the U.S. government!
Our Head of School, Dean of Students, and Dean of Academics got to take a little “break” for one day while two young leaders took over. Second grader Jasmine and fifth grader London were the winners of the “Head for a Day” and “Dean for a Day” auction items. On their big day, they introduced a special Memorial Day assembly, participated in meetings, and took attendance at a fire drill. They wrapped up their day with lunch at the Cheesecake Factory and some yummy frozen yogurt. What a day!
The 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students get together throughout the year for Math Club, where they work together to solve real life problems in mixed-grade groups. Every spring, the students participate in Math Club Marketplace, where they create a product or a service to sell at the Spring Fling. This year, our students raised $1,500!! They voted to donate the money to the school, to go toward the Innovation Lab Renovations.
Our Difference Makers series on Homelessness this year inspired our students to take action. Our student council led a number of drives this year, including “Undies for All.” Over 100 people in the BHS community contributed underwear and toiletries to the drive, which were then donated to Hope of the Valley! This year we also had a successful bake sale to raise money for homeless veteran's through the Wounded Warriors Project. We would like to thank these organizations for empowering us to use these as opportunities for leadership. We know that this quote is true: "People who think they can change the world are often the ones who do."
Our annual Graduation Tea, taking place tomorrow at the Uhlmann home, is one of many long-standing Berkeley Hall traditions. This very special event gives seventh and eighth graders the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of formal etiquette; eighth graders host their parents and guests, and seventh graders and some of their parents play a support role (knowing they'll have the spotlight next year). Students are taught in advance how to conduct themselves at a formal event by the owner of a Beverly Hills cotillion company, getting trained in receiving-line introductions, buffet etiquette, manners, elocution, and poise. We look forward to seeing our students dressed up and exhibiting their finest social manners at our Graduation Tea.
Huge congratulations to BHS alumna Malia Goldman '16, who just won Gold in the National Scholastic Art Competition for her charcoal drawing on toned paper entitled, "reflection." You read that correctly. This is a charcoal drawing, not a photograph. She will be flown to New York to receive her prize, attend an award ceremony, and have her work featured in the Scholastic traveling show. Here's a note she wrote to BHS art teacher Tracy Cheney.
Hi Mrs. Cheney,
It’s a pleasure to hear from you again! Thank you for going out of your way to reach out, it truly made my day. I was so excited to have won gold [as a National Scholastic Gold Key winner], and I can’t wait to head to New York for the ceremony. Thank you so much for introducing me to the Scholastic competition and for encouraging me to continue to pursue art. I will be applying to art schools soon, and I would never have come this far without your guidance and inspiration throughout the years.
Ten years ago, the class of 2009 wrote letters to themselves in Mr. Miller's class and then promptly forgot about them. On Saturday, May 4th, they'll open those letters at the BHS Spring Fling and find the surprises within. The opening of the ten-year letters is one of Berkeley Hall's most moving events and serves to connect the students of past and present. The class of 2019 will soon write their own letters, just like every graduating class has done since 2007. They'll be opened in 2029.
The Great Gatsby Gala was, as promised, a roaring good time, not to mention a very successful fundraising event! Everyone turned out decked to the nines and looking amazing, many in 20’s-inspired garb, and contributed to what was an extremely glamorous and fabulously-fun night at the Skirball Cultural Center.
We at Berkeley Hall School extend our most sincere thanks to our wonderful and dedicated Gala Chair Jaclyn Vercillo and her amazing team of volunteers. Our Emcee/Auctioneer Team, Tava Smiley and Demian Lichtenstein, were dynamic and gracious. Bid-for-the-Kids Hosts, Erica Moore-Burton and Chappale Burton, led the charge in a donation appeal with staggering results. Along with Tava and Demian, Brooke Lichtenstein helped lead the auction item procurement process. Behind the scenes, Auction Software Chair, Dorothy Sheng, spent countless hours heading up the process of entering into the bidding software each of the more than 200 items that our generous community brought in. Graphic Designer Drew Frist is responsible for the beautiful artwork that you’ve been seeing all year and helped bring Jaclyn’s vision to life. Mary Yang’s event company, Blossom Events, provided the evening’s beautiful floral arrangements.
There are too many wonderful volunteers to thank in this short message, but each and every one of you was absolutely indispensable and we appreciate you more than words can express.
Also, to everyone who solicited auction items, donated and bid on them – thank you! To our sponsors and underwriters and Bid-for-the-Kids donors, thank you! To everyone who attended the big night – thank you!
It is a special moment to see a whole audience full of young students vacillate between rapt attention and unrestrained enthusiastic appreciation. This happened often during a recent concert by internationally-known pianists Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi, who play stride piano, the style of music born out of Harlem in the 1920's that takes the rhythm and bass of ragtime, styled with a bit of swing, and puts some jazz and blues improvisation on top of it. Stride leaves grand openings for individual expression, and Stephanie and Paolo took advantage of that freedom, bringing us a wide variety of up-beat music. With it's Harlem roots, Stephanie rightfully acknowledged the appropriateness of this concert during Black History Month and honored the key musicians who brought this style to prominence.
Championship games are always exciting. Both teams are poised to win, but in the end, only one can take home the trophy! Berkeley Hall faced a tough competitor in Milkin, who scored a goal early and kept the Bobcats at bay. We were down 1-0 at the half. But the Bobcats worked hard and through with strong teamwork, James L. scored two goals back-to-back bringing the score to 2-1. With 12 minutes left, could they hold the lead? Final score 2:1 Berkeley Hall to win the championship! Congratulations to a season well played. Go Bobcats!
Thank you to all families and students who brought baked goods and participated in the Bake Sale. The Middle School Student Council Raised $437, and the Primary/Intermediate Student Council raised $355 for a grand total of $792! The money will be sent to the Wounded Warriors Project and will directly impact Veterans through different mental and physical health programs. Great job Bobcats and Student Council!
The students in EK love learning about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His story deeply touches their hearts. They understand what it is to feel left out and be treated unfairly and unjustly. They are also learning to organize their thoughts about what they are learning and then put those thoughts on paper. They love the idea of righting any injustice, being brave, standing up for what is right, and changing things that are wrong. Please enjoy these works from the hearts of our youngest chidlren.
For thirty years, Dave Mochel has been focused on the foundations of well-being, healthy communities, and leadership. After more than twenty years teaching human development, neuroscience, physics, and mindfulness in independent schools, Dave founded Applied Attention Coaching and Consulting. He works with individuals, teams, and organizations all over the world to help them focus their attention and energy where it will make the greatest positive difference.
Dave works with leaders, educators, executives, parents, students and athletes all over the world and it was a privilege to have him join us at Berkeley Hall. He lead a workshop for parents at the BHPA breakfast and later met faculty for lunch. Grades 6-8 each had a 50-minute workshop with Dave.
Those who attended Dave's workshops had extremely positive resonses to his message and the tips he gave around the subject mindfulness.
Located in Los Angeles, CA, Berkeley Hall School is a private, coeducational school for students in preschool through grade 8. Rigorous academics in a supportive atmosphere and grounded character development allow students to become fearless scholars and conscientious citizens - gain a love of learning, leadership with social responsibility, creativity with moral integrity, and self-esteem with compassion for others and the environment.