The Block Island Times

Holiday projects, academic successes

By Gloria S. Redlich | Dec 03, 2011

Thanksgiving has launched a number of holiday fundraisers and the sports program has been going full tilt at the Block Island School, and that’s not all; the academic achievements of high school students have impressed guidance counselor Betty Gomes.

She notes with pride that in the four years she’s been at the island school, the current quarter of the 2011-2012 academic year “has been the best I’ve seen for eighth to twelfth graders.” She points out that the students seem to be more serious about their studies, are generally maintaining good grades and many have expressed early interest in college planning.

Seniors are currently getting their applications in to a variety of colleges, and juniors are inquiring about the application process and thinking about possible majors. This year Gomes has observed that just as they started to apply to schools, some seniors began to reconsider their original intentions, a process she considers thoughtful and healthy.

Sophomores and juniors have taken the PSATs, and she notes results will be in soon. Juniors will take the SATs in the spring of 2012 and sophomores retake the PSAT in their eleventh year.

With most colleges seeking applicants with three years of a language, Gomes encourages her students to take Spanish, the only language offered by the island school. There are currently seven students in the senior class and six in the junior.

Upcoming events and activities

Anticipating the winter holidays, parent Molly O’Neill announces the annual plant sale will take place from December 6 to 8 (Tuesday to Thursday) in the school lobby. In addition to a variety of seasonal plants, school clothing will be available at discounted prices. Proceeds from the sale will go to the Block Island School Friends.

O’Neill says they have just “finished up a very successful clothing exchange,” to which people brought used clothing and sporting equipment, mostly children’s. With children growing out of things very quickly, most of what was offered was in good condition. Another exchange, this time of ice skates, is being planned for some time in December.

The opening of the annual Scholastic Book Fair has been set for Saturday, December 10, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to teaching assistant Amy Dugan. It will continue during the following school week on Monday to Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and on Friday until noon. Earnings from the fair support the production of the yearbook, with some proceeds going to the Mary D. Fund and to a women’s shelter, Dugan says.

The book fair will run concurrently with the Berry Merry Extravaganza, the latter sponsored by the School Friends, which has been scheduled for December 10. During the day, crafts will be on sale and lunch will be offered from the Berry Merry Bistro in the school cafeteria. Visitors will be invited to purchase lunch to take along to a series of three basketball games planned for that afternoon.

The girls’ varsity team will play against Davies at 12:30 p.m., the boys’ junior varsity will go against Master’s Academy at 2:15 p.m. and the boys’ varsity will play Cornerstone at 3:30 p.m..

A financial aid meeting for parents of juniors and seniors is planned for Monday, December 5, at 7 p.m. in the school library. Gomes says there will be a new presenter this year: T.j. Feldman-Halpern from Johnson and Wales University.

Third and fourth graders recently attended a performance of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” at Trinity Rep in Providence. The production, adapted by Adrian Hall and Richard Cumming and directed by Christopher Windom, will continue its run through December 30.

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