Parent Update: Nov. 16, 2017

Early-Action Update from College Counseling

About 75 percent of the Class of 2018 has submitted an early college application. Congratulations to students and families on this academic victory.

Families of seniors and PGs, don’t panic if you get emails from colleges about documents “missing” from your applications. The college counseling office staff is on top of all application requirements.

Please be assured that all NMH supporting documents (teacher recommendations, counselor letter, transcripts — including those from a prior school — and our school forms) have been submitted. We can track those documents. If the message that some materials are "missing" persists, contact the NMH college counseling office and staff will verify the student’s account.

Official test scores, however, must be submitted by the applicant. If scores are missing, you should log into your SAT or ACT account and view the history of submitted scores and the schools to which they have been sent. Some colleges will say that the "mid-year report" is missing. They are referring to the transcript that will include final grades for fall-term classes and is available in early January. A student’s midterm grades are not the "mid-year report."

Please contact us with questions or needs at 413-498-3303.

Contemplative Garden and Labyrinth Open

On Nov. 3, NMH celebrated the opening of a contemplative garden and labyrinth behind the O’Connor Health and Wellness Center. They are a gift from trustee Caroline Niederman ’78 in honor of her parents. While the garden is always open, it is an especially useful resource during stressful times, including the upcoming final exam season.

The garden serves as a calm, peaceful retreat for meditation and quiet reflection in nature. The labyrinth is an ancient tool used for contemplation and walking meditation. Together, the new facility contributes to and promotes balance and well being.

The Reformation and Re-Formation

Oct. 31 was not only Halloween, but also marked the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. German Catholic monk Martin Luther’s criticism of the church, expressed in his nailing of 95 theses of protest to the Wittenberg Castle church’s door, started an historic schism within Christianity that led to the founding of various Protestant churches. As a school founded by Protestant evangelist D.L. Moody, NMH is connected to the values of study, critical consciousness, individual freedom, and responsibility that were elemental to the Protestant Reformation.

The quincentennial was marked at NMH with a panel presentation on a broader question than that addressed by Luther. The “Reformation 500@NMH” event looked at the efforts at re-formation and renewal within several world religions and examined the role of young people in these processes. Panel presenters included Reverend Neil from the United Church of Bernardston, Rabbi Cohen-Kiener from Temple Israel in Greenfield, Father Ryan Rooney ’03 from Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Springfield, and Gorgui Diaw, the faculty advisor to NMH’s Muslim Student Association. Additional presenters on the panel included sophomores Erick Jara, Ayleen Cameron, and Philip Psaledakis.

The audience was especially encouraged by Rabbi Cohen-Kiener’s advice to students about their role in social change: “Know the tradition you come from, consult the times in which you live, and consult the Spirit.”

This event was hosted by the chaplain with support from the religious studies/philosophy department and history and social sciences department.

Students Create at Hackathon

On Nov. 4, five NMH students set off for the Microsoft Sales and Technology Center in Burlington, Massachusetts, to compete with fellow coders in a hackathon for New England high school students. The hackNEHS event brought together like-minded computer enthusiasts for a day of programming and team collaboration to create something original, such as a website, app, or game.

After a series of workshops and interactive classes focused on brainstorming innovative ideas and coding them, students got to work on their projects. Team NMH coded and problem-solved for nearly 10 hours straight. They came up with the idea creating a web app that would help students organize tasks in their day by scheduling "variable" tasks around their "fixed" tasks. Specifically, the proposed web app would help students decide when they could do homework given their other requirements and busy NMH schedules.

A Taste Test for NMH Tap Water

The NMH campus is free from single-use water bottles, but how does the tap water taste?

Student Ecoleaders Julia Zhao ’19 and Rachel Mooers ’18 recently conducted a water taste test designed to spark conversation among students about the quality of campus tap water. Participants did a blind taste test of bottled and tap water poured from unmarked pitchers, then completed a survey about the quality of the two samples.

The early result: NMH tap water is delicious! The Ecoleaders have involved the AP Statistics class to analyze further the data collected. Initial analysis indicates that most of the 62 participants could not tell the difference between NMH tap water and bottled water.

The Ecoleaders are part of the NMH Task Force for Sustainability and Resilience. It has created NMH green-events standards that make it possible for any NMH event to be certified as sustainable; banned single-use water bottles; and partnered with NMH’s dining services, which runs a three-star green-certified restaurant.


College Planning Deadlines:

  • Class of 2018, please report any additions or deletions in your college application list to your college counselor now so materials can be sent in a timely fashion.
  • SAT/Subject Tests: Nov. 21 is the registration deadline for the Dec. 2 test (with a late fee). Seniors and PGs who need another SAT or subject test score should register. Juniors and sophomores may sign up for subject test(s) if they wish to and their fall coursework allows.
  • ACT: Nov. 17 is the registration deadline for the Dec. 9 ACT (with a late fee).
  • Download a list of all upcoming test dates.

Hogger Packs: It’s time to order “Hogger packs,” exam-time care packages full of treats. They are delivered to student dorm rooms with a personalized note of encouragement from you. Reading day and final exams are Dec. 11–14. While students are studying hard, imagine their delight as they open a Hogger pack chock-full of edible goodness. To send one to your student, complete this order form by Dec. 8.

NMH Part of Giving Tuesday: Nov. 28 is a global day of giving, when we are all asked to help others through gifts of time, dollars, and advocacy! Be a part of this global movement by making a gift to the NMH Fund in support of the service work done by NMH students throughout the year.

Making "Pie Time": More than 300 students, faculty, staff, and alumni ran the 127th Bemis-Forslund Pie Race this week. Each runner who met the qualifying time received a homemade apple pie. Nolan Abeyta ’19 was first across the line at 23:31:590 for the 4.3-mile race, followed closely by Richard Sturtevant ’19 at 23:35:553.

Taylor Bickford (27:11:102) was the first female finisher, followed by Isabel May ’20 at 28:56:331. See photos of the race.

Keeping Student Grades and Comments: Advisor comments for your student will be posted around Nov. 22; you will receive an email when they are ready to view. Once new comments and grades are posted, you will not be able to access earlier ones. So if you want a record of advisor comments or grades, please print them.

Athletic Banquet: On Nov. 9, fall athletes and coaches celebrated their hard work and accomplishments. View the list of award recipients and photos from the fall athletics banquet. Congratulations to all athletes, and thank you to families for your support.

Study Abroad in 2018: Study-abroad applications are due Nov. 27. Don’t let your student miss this opportunity to travel and learn in another country. Please contact Jensi Rovang, study-abroad program coordinator, with questions.

Yearbook Deadline Approaching: Yearbook ads and senior portraits are due by Dec. 1.

Using the NMH Calendar: The NMH website recently moved to a new format, and the process for adding NMH calendar feeds to your Google calendar is different. Please follow these instructions to sync your calendar with ours.

Athletes of the Week for Nov. 6–12: Girls’ varsity crew team captain Eliza Yager ’18 of Boulder, Colorado, signed her national letter of intent committing to row for Syracuse University. Nolan Abeyta ’19 of Rutland, Vermont, led the way for the boys’ varsity cross-country team at the NEPSTA Div. I championships. He also won the NMH Pie Race.

Athletes of the Week for Oct. 30–Nov. 5: Rockshell Antwi ’18 of Brooklyn, New York, was a dominating force anchoring the strong defense that resulted in two shutout victories for NMH in boys’ varsity soccer. Sage Valente ’20 of Watertown, Connecticut, was a strong presence on offense for the girls’ varsity field hockey team, and has been part of most of the offense’s successes this season.

Upcoming Events

  • 11/17 Thanksgiving break begins
  • 11/18 Charter buses depart and dorms close
  • 11/26 Students return 2–7:30 pm
  • 11/27 Classes resume
  • 11/27 Study-abroad applications due
  • 12/1 Admission Class Visit Day
  • 12/1–12/3 Closed weekend
  • 12/2 SAT or SAT subject test
  • 12/3 Christmas Vespers at NMH
  • 12/7–12/9 One-act play festival
  • 12/7 Our Stories, Washington, D.C.
  • 12/9 ACT test
  • 12/14 Fall semester ends at 5 pm
  • 12/14 Christmas Vespers in New York City
  • 12/15 Charter buses depart and dorms close

A bird's eye view