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Family Days

Oct. 19, 2022 — Trees all over campus were bursting with vibrant hues of red, orange, and yellow, providing a spectacular backdrop for NMH Family Days on Oct. 14 and 15. More than 400 guests — parents, grandparents, guardians, siblings, and friends — visited NMH and immersed themselves in campus life over the two days.

A little rain on Friday morning didn’t deter families as they hurried under umbrellas to attend classes with their students in the Gilder Center, Beveridge Hall, Schauffler Library, and the Rhodes Arts Center, and to join conferences with their students’ advisors and college counselors. By afternoon, sun replaced the rain and clouds and graced campus with perfect fall weather for the weekend.

Throughout Family Days, guests explored the entire campus and facilities, such as the library, admission office, school store, snack bar, farm, and athletics facilities. On Saturday, NMH’s field hockey, soccer, and volleyball teams competed on their home turf as families cheered them on, while a “traveling tailgate” of NMH staff passed out cider, hot chocolate, doughnuts, apples and noisemakers to fans. 

NMH field hockey during Family Days.

In the Rhodes Arts Center, students performed in music and dance concerts, and families got a behind-the-scenes look at the theater program through an open rehearsal for the fall play, Twelve Angry Jurors. Families shared meals with their students in the Alumni Hall, visited dorms, and explored spaces where students hang out, such as the Time Out cafe in Grandin Hall and the Blake Student Center. 

During informational sessions, parents heard updates from Head of School Brian Hargrove and other administrators, learned about opportunities for their students to travel to Brazil or Costa Rica during NMH’s March break travel and service program, and heard about the financial aid landscape with NMH’s College Counseling Office.

A teacher talks with a student in math class.

In a 9th-grade algebra class in the Gilder Center on Friday morning, teacher Dave Pillsbury invited families to observe their students practicing and solving equations on white boards that line the classroom, noting that making mistakes is part of the learning process. In fact, Pillsbury embeds at least one “mistake” in each set of equations he assigns to students, and one of the goals is for students to find his mistakes.

“What we’ve done is we’ve created a safe space where we can make mistakes and ask questions,” he said.

Bea Garcia, assistant head of school for academic programs and dean of faculty, said families were thrilled to be on campus interacting with students, teachers, and staff during Family Days.  

“Our families enjoyed their many interactions with our faculty and staff and were happy to see their children thriving, learning, and growing,” she said.

See photos of Family Days and athletic competitions on Saturday, Oct. 15. 

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