Assembly in Brief

Friday, September 22

* 7th Grade: Good luck at Drey Land!
*7th & 8th Grade: Auditions for The Little Prince will be on October 2.
*Feast: Cory Finley '07's play, Feast, will open at the Gaslight Theater at 8 pm on Saturday. The play is directed by John Pierson (theatre). After the Sunday afternoon performance, there will be a talk back with the audience.
*Theatre Support: Anyone who would like to help with directing or tech, should check out the call board.

Spirit Week ~ Friday & Saturday Rundown
*Tonight: Student picnic begins at 6:15 in the Quad, student pep rally begins at 7 in the Memorial Gym, bonfire begins when the sun sets on field 4 (just west of the tennis courts), pickup is at 8:45.
*Tomorrow: JBS/MICDS Fun Run registration begins at 7:30 in the JBS Quad, the 2.5 mile run/walk begins at 8, a shuttle will run between the two campuses.
*Friday & Saturday Athletic Contests: Click HERE.

Blue & Gold Assembly
The seniors and the cheerleading and dance squads led the school in a mini-pep rally, including the annual video.

Thursday, September 21

No School

Wednesday, September 20

*Jewish High Holy Days: Seniors Daniel Rinder and Zach Zlepper described the significance of Rosh Hashanah (a time to repent and reflect) and Yom Kippur (a time to attone for past sins).
*Lockdown drill: This morning.
*Science Olympiad: If you haven't applied, contact Mrs. Smallwood. Applications are due Friday the 29th. Students in grades 9 - 12 are eligible.

Kudos to ...
the C field hockey team which took first place in their division at the St. Joe's Tournament.

Spirit Week
*Varsity Field Hockey: "Introduced" team members and asked for fans for the game vs. MICDS on Saturday.
*Congress: Showed a brief "football" video.
*Friday: Blue and gold day.
*Roz Schulte Spirit Fund: The senior spirit t-shirts will be distributed to all students after lunch today. The shirts were made possible by the Roz Schulte Spirit Fund which was established in honor and memory of Roz '02 who died in Afghanistan in 2009. Roz was a U.S. Air Force intelligence officer, on loan to the army, when she was killed by an IED.

Tuesday, September 19

*6-Man Club: Meeting at 7:45 am tomorrow in the athletics conference room.
*Parent Visiting Day: Parents will be on campus all morning ~ for classes and a picnic lunch.
*Spirit Week: Tomorrow is USA day.

Kudos to ...
the volleyball team which took second place in the St. Charles High School Tournament.

Monday, September 18

*Hispanic Culture Club: Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 through October 15 and recognizes the culture and contributions of Hispanics worldwide. Everyone is invited to learn to a variety of dances at 7:45 am on September 26 in the dance studio.
*International Travel: Burroughs strives to support international travel for everyone. If you are interested in a 2017-2018 trip and need financial assistance, pick up an application from Debbie Drummond (in the front office). Applications are due October 2 ~ but if funds are still available, apps received after the 2nd will be considered.
*Transcending the Dream: Meeting at 8 am tomorrow in the dance studio to begin discussions around the Stockley decision and its aftermath (see below for more).

Blue & Gold Week
Spirit Week, leading up to athletics contests vs. MICDS, began with class color day: seniors wore black, juniors red, sophomores blue, freshmen pink, 8th graders green and 7th graders white. Tomorrow is jersey day, Wednesday is USA day and Friday is blue and gold day ~ dress accordingly.

Music Monday
Kelly Schaschl '18 launched the 2017-2018 music assemblies, performing Lorde's "Perfect Places" and an original song, "One Thing." See "Campus Candids" later today.

Important Conversations
Referencing recent events in St. Louis spurred by last Friday's Stockley decision, Mr. Abbott said important conversations around racial and criminal justice inequities are taking place. He said it is important for us to educate ourselves and each other. While engaging in these these complex conversations, he shared the following advice:

  • Be a good ally ~ listen to understand, not to respond
  • Don't feel like you have to have answers ~ this is not a time for debate
  • If you feel called to protest, do so thoughtfully and peacefully
  • Be cautious about social media ~ what you post and what you read

In the absence of warnings from the authorities, Burroughs will hold all classes and events but families should make individual decisions. Mr. Abbott assured students that the faculty and staff are here to support them in any way they need.

After Mr. Abbott spoke, freshman Nathaniel Doty delivered a sound-off about the Stockley decision and its place in an all-too-long litany of injustices. "Our diverse microcosm gives us the opportunity to have important conversations ... The time to sit on the sidelines is long-passed ... Respect is the one true law." [NOTE: as a matter of school policy, we do not post sound-offs.]

Friday, September 15

* Montgomery Plan: Montgomery Plan's Danna Drive supports Angels' Arms, which provides resources for foster parents and foster children. To raise funds for the agency, Montgomery Plan will sponsor a car wash from 2 to 4 pm, Sunday, September 17, in the Price Road lot. Purchase tickets ($5) in the front office, the bookstore or at the event itself.
*Computer Science Club: Students announced the formation of a new club for students who are interested in anything related to computers. Guest speakers will talk about computer applications, games and programs. No computer knowledge is necessary to participate in this club, and students in all grades are welcome. Meetings will be announced in assembly.
*Guild of Geeks: Meeting after school today in Mr. Salomon's room (226).
*Pictures and IDs: Students in grades 9-12 can pick up their pictures and IDs in the bookstore today.
*Six Man Club: This week's game of the week is today's field hockey game against Westminster (4 pm, home).
*Dance Show: Students interested in choreographing a piece for the Dance Show should attend a meeting at 8:15 am, Tuesday, September 19, in Ms. Kinney's room (LL3). Potential choreographers who cannot attend the meeting should send Ms. Kinney an e-mail that lists the number of dancers, type of dance, level of difficulty and song.

Blue and Gold Week
Members of Congress announced that this year's Blue and Gold Week will not include a Red and Green Day. All other traditional Blue and Gold events will take place as usual. Student leaders encouraged their peers to rally together to have an awesome spirit week. In addition to a full schedule of events during the week, Congress is bringing special guests to campus and sponsoring daily Blue and Gold events as follows:

  • Monday: Color Day with students wearing colors corresponding to their grade (grade 12/black, grade 11/red, grade 10/blue, grade 9/pink, grade 8/green, grade 7/white and faculty/yellow)
  • Tuesday: Jersey Day
  • Wednesday: USA Day
  • Thursday: No school/Rosh Hashanah
  • Friday: Bomber Attire Day
    Seniors have created a spirit shirt that will be distributed on Friday at lunch. All students should wear their shirts to games on Saturday.

Katherine Dunham: Dance and the African Diaspora
Joanna Das Dee ’01, an assistant professor of dance at Washington University in St. Louis, talked about the dancer and choreographer Katherine Dunham during assembly. Dunham, according to Dee, used her art not only to convince white Americns that African Americans were equal, but also to demonstrate the cultural richness and connectivity of the African diaspora to African Americans. Dee's book, Katherine Dunham: Dance and the African Diaspora, was recently published by Oxford University Press. See " Latest News and Assembly Presentations" later today.

Thursday, September 14

*Theatre: Students who are interested in stage management or assistant director positiions for JBS productions should check the call board by the scene shop to see what the jobs entail and how to apply for a position. See Mr. Pierson if you have questions.

STAR Building
The foundation of the STAR building will be poured today. Expect to see a steady stream of cement trucks on campus.

Wednesday, September 13

*Flu Vaccine Clinic: In the faculty lounge from 9 am to noon today. Bring signed permissions form.
*Light & Sound: Will send an e-mail to all students to submit music requests for before and after daily assembly.
*SLAMUN: First session is on October 2. Interested 9 - 12 graders can find information outside of Mr. Bang's classroom (207).
*Stubborn Ounces: Established last year under the Diversity E.T.C. umbrella, this magazine furthers student conversations (through personal reflections) about diversity and inclusivity. Contact Ms. Doyle Ervin if you are interested in being an editor or would like to make a submission.

Technology Acceptable Use Policy
During advisory today, students will discuss and sign the school’s Technology Acceptable Use Policy. Mr. Abbott ran through the high points, emphasizing that Burroughs embraces technology as it enhances the curriculum but that we are a community that is fundamentally defined by personal interactions and engagement.

He urged everyone to be cautious in their online and digital lives. He said posts last forever and can be seen by peers, teachers, colleges, employers, et al. “Don’t post anything you don’t want me to see.” Missteps can range from the extreme (posting nude pictures of a minor, which is a criminal offense) to small, unintended cruelties (posting pictures from a party that is not inclusive).

Tuesday, September 12

*Building Competition: Science teachers Martha Keeley, Marina Smallwood and Tracy Walther invited all students to participate in a building competition from 3 to 5 pm on Saturday, September 16 in the Big Dipper (in Science Town). The challenge will be a mousetrap car. Materials will be provided. Students are encouraged to do a little research and are welcome (but don't need) to bring their own tools. After constructing the cars, everyone will move into the field house to test them out.
*Film Club: Everyone welcome.

Kudos to ...
the golf team which took third in last weekend's seven-hour Angel Classic.

Mr. Abbott explained the difference between sound-offs, in which students share their own points of view, and current-event presentations, in which students seek to educate their peers. He then introduced the first current events speaker of the year, Isa Rosario-Blake '21, who spoke about DACA. See " Latest News and Assembly Presentations" later today.

Monday, September 11

This Week
*Tuesday is a late day with assembly beginning at 8:45 am.
*Thursday is a regular day with assembly beginning at 8:15 am, followed by class meetings. The Student Activities Fair will take place during the lunch periods.

*Animal Allies: All students are welcome to join this club which does service projects and shares "their animal experiences!"
*Challenger Baseball: Everyone is invited to participate in this year's Challenger Baseball from 10 am to 2 pm on Sunday, October 1. The event pairs kids with disabilities with JBS buddies. There is a bake sale to support Challenger Baseball on Friday.
*Extra Hands for ALS: Meeting at 8:15 am tomorrow in the classics lounge.
*GAP: Meeting at 8:15 am tomorrow.
*Hurricane Harvey Relief: Please support the bake sale today. Funds will go to One America Appeal to help victims of all of the recent hurricanes.
*Spectrum: Meeting at 8:15 am tomorrow in Ms. Zmudczynski's classroom.

Andrew Newman (fine arts, school photographer) spoke about Rick Rescorla who is attributed with saving almost all of Morgan Stanley's 2,700 employees in the south tower on September 11, 2001. "As we pause for a remembrance of the events of this day 16 years ago I’d like to spin it in a positive light. I want to take a moment to focus on the life of an extraordinary man who was a hero on 9/11. It’s a story that went viral, many of you may have already heard it, but it’s one I will not soon forget and I believe it celebrates humankind. Rick Rescorla was a security officer at the banking firm of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, working on the 40th floor of the offices in the south Tower. Convinced for years that the World Trade Center could be a target for an attack, Mr. Rescorla insisted that his company, over 2700 employees, practice their fire drill every three months.  Because they were so well rehearsed, everyone knew just what to do when the alarms went off on 9/11. Mr. Rescorla stood up to authority to ensure those drills were practiced by everyone each and every time. (Come on, who hasn’t rolled their eyes and hesitated when we practice a school fire or tornado drill? ) Rescorla  ultimately saved 2700 lives that day because of his preparedness and then made the ultimate sacrifice — last seen alive climbing back up the stairs to assist those whose safety was his charge. Rather than take a moment of silence now, I hope today you will take a moment to reflect and celebrate the heroes of 9/11, many whose stories will be left untold. Rick Rescorla reminds me to think of humanklnd as really two words…and to always be both ... human and kind."

Confederate Monuments
Mark Smith (history, chair) spoke to students about the history of Confederate monuments and the more general question of how we remember events from the past. See "Latest News and Assembly Presentations" later today. He will deliver an extended version of the presentation tomorrow night.

Friday, September 8

*Cross Country: Seeking fans for Saturday's meet in Forest Park ~ 10:40 am for girls and 12:20 pm for boys.
*Fire Drill: Today at the end of first period.
*Football: Also seeking fans for Saturday's varsity game at 2 pm at Westminster.
*GAP: The Global Aid Project club raises funds for countries in need. This year, funds will go to Caribbean countries impacted by hurricanes.
*Montgomery Plan: Bake sale on Monday to raise funds for Harvey/the One American Appeal. Still need baked good contributions and volunteers to help with sale.

With Privilege Comes Responsibility ... With Service Comes Fulfillment
Peter Tasker (AD, Spanish teacher) spoke to students about his own life of privilege and the responsibilities he believes come with that privilege. He then shared photos and stories about his 238-mile run across Nicaragua to raise funds for Fabretto, a children's education foundation. See "Latest News and Assembly Presentations" later today.

Thursday, September 7

*6-Man Club: Fans wanted for tomorrow's 4 pm home swim "meat" vs CBC.
*Current Events & Global Issues: All students are welcome to the first discussion meeting at 7:45 am tomorrow in Dr. Smith's classroom. Topics will include DACA, Harvey and Irma, the budget, tax reform, North Korea and the Russia investigation. No knowledge is necessary!
*Student Court: This year the position of chief justice will be held by seniors Max Panagos and Jakes Steinkamp. They will exercise just one vote, and the student experience in court should not be impacted.

Wednesday, September 6

*Business Club: Applications for the MIT Launch are due Friday ~ space is limited.
*Buzz Books: Copies for interested students are available in the front office.
*Guild of Geeks: Leaders were announced and everyone was invited to stop by the GoG table at the Activities Fair next Thursday.
*Montgomery Plan: Leaders explained that the MP coordinates community service opportunities throughout St. Louis (and occasionally on campus) for all JBS students. The next meeting is at 8:10 am tomorrow in conference room #2.
*Review: All students are invited to submit visual art, poetry, essays, etc. for this annual literary magazine released at the end of the school year. Submit via
*Sports for Charity: Meeting at 8 am tomorrow in the athletics conference room.
*Student Activities Fair: Let Congress know if your club wants a table at next Thursday's activity fair.
*Thursday: Late start day.

Eid al-Adha
Adam Banga '18, Amaan Banga '22 and Adnaan Raza '18 spoke to students about this holiday which 1.5 billion Muslims celebrate every year. It is the Festival of Sacrifice, commemorating Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his own son to God. Celebrations include services and time with family and friends.

Academic Integrity
Mr. Abbott told students that during advisory today they will discuss academic integrity and sign a form that indicates they have read and understand the school's academic integrity statement. He said there are four things to remember:

  • never take credit for work or an idea that is not your own
  • if you get behind, speak with your teacher ~ do not take (desperate) short cuts
  • individual violations of academic integrity can impact the entire community, e.g., when a friend asks you to share your homework or what was on a test, you can feel resentful or bullied
  • your work ethic is more important than your innate ability ~ the latter only carries you so far and at some point you're likely to hit a wall and may not have the skills to overcome the obstacle/s

Tuesday, September 5

*Bio Medical Science Club: Leaders of this new club invited everyone to join them. They will be lining up speakers, discussions and tours.
*Game-of-the-Week: Today's 4 pm varsity field hockey home game vs Ladue.
*LGBTQ+ Affinity Group: This affinity group is for students who are gender or sexual minorities ~ see Ms. Fischer if you have any questions or are interested.

Kudos to ...
the girls varsity tennis team won the Metro League Tournament at Westminster.

We all have a lot of work to do ...
Mr. Abbott spoke briefly to students about the racist and profane Snapchat exchanges that took place between members of another St. Louis school. While first acknowledging the hurt these comments have caused, he quickly underscored the importance of remembering that this can happen anywhere ... it could happen here. He said we all have to be constantly aware of fighting our own biases and those within our community. Despite all we try to do ~ through curriculum, programming, etc. ~ we all have a lot more work to do. He encouraged students to take advantage of the many student diversity groups we have to learn about others and to break down our stereotypes and biases. As soon as we think that we have learned all we have to learn ... that we have done all that we have to do ... it is time to redouble our efforts. This work is deeply connected to our mission as a school.

Friday, September 1

*6-Man Club: Game of the week is today's 4 pm home varsity soccer game vs. St. Pius. The theme is "back to school."
*French Club: Leaders said their focus will be to promote awareness of and enthusiasm for the French language and culture and current events. The main event this year will be a French Culture Day ~ stay tuned.
*Instagram: Congress has launched an Instagram account to promote student events.
*Late Starts: Next Tuesday and Thursday.
*Transcending the Dream: Leaders said their club focuses on the intersection of race, socio-economics and gender and will sponsor assembly speakers, discussions and films.

Managing Stress
Mr. Abbott sketched the ways in which the school is trying to help students manage stress and then made some suggestions for what students can do.

Examples of actions the school has taken include:

  • regular late start days (when assembly begins at 8:45 am)
  • fewer away games
  • an extended calendar that facilitates scheduling just one exam per day (during exam weeks) and the addition of an extra holiday in May
  • review of courses to align content, workload and assessment so that students who are taking the same course but with different teachers have a more even experience
  • launch of CANVAS learning management system which gives students one resource to find major assignments/tests so that they can plan ahead

On top of these initiatives, Mr. Abbott recommended students:

  • take courses that are appropriate for them
  • look ahead to anticipate heavy times
  • don't stay up too late
  • minimize the use of social media while studying at night
  • use free periods thoughtfully
  • communicate with your teachers

He took a page from William McRaven's book, Make Your Bed ... little things that can change your life. And he suggested that students be on time, be "present" wherever they are, set up habits and be kind to one another.

Thursday, August 31

*Business Club: Leaders sketched plans for the year, including the stock market game and a new entrepreneurship initiative in which teams conceive, develop and pitch a new business idea to MIT Launch. This club is limited to upper school students.
*Spectrum: Leaders invited all students to their first meeting on September 12 to learn about this year's plans to educate the community and to support students who identify as gender or sexual minorities.
*World Religions: Leaders invited all students to participate in this club which strives to increase awareness and acceptance around various belief systems.

No Smoking+
Mr. Abbott said that the campus ban on smoking extend to vaping, cigarettes, etc.

Wednesday, August 30

*Middle School Diversity Club: Leaders introduced themselves and invited all middle schoolers to the club's first meeting ~ details to come.

School Rules
As he does at the start of every year, Mr. Abbott began a discussion of school rules and customs. The school sets clear boundaries, allowing for considerable freedom within those lines.

The  #1 rule is to treat everyone with dignity and respect.

  • be on time, behave appropriately at athletic contests, don’t scream out at assembly, don’t use offensive language, etc.
  • don’t park illegally (there’s always room in the Price lots), honor the fuel efficiency spaces, don’t text while driving
  • have fun in the Commons and Quad but leave the hardballs and sports equipment in PE/Athletics
  • clean up after yourselves
  • do not “borrow” books, etc. without permission (it’s called stealing)

There are rules which if broken can result in probation or expulsion, e.g., an accumulation of minor infractions, actions outside of school that bring discredit to the school, attending any school activity under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, academic integrity violations, misuse of technology ~ more details to come on the last three.

Mr. Abbott said what is even more important are our everyday customs/practices which make Burroughs a great place to be: be kind, hold the door, thank your teacher for an especially good class, make eye contact and say hello even to those you don’t know. "The whole school is a better place when we do these things ... If we apply ourselves, we can be better people."

Tuesday, August 29

*GYLI: A leader of the JBS Global Youth Leadership Institute said that participation in GYLI is a three-year commitment (including summer travel) and that more information for current 8th and 9th graders will be forthcoming.
*Spanish Culture Club: Leaders welcomed all students to engage ~ you don't have to speak Spanish to join!

Kudos to ...
the girls varsity tennis team which took second place in the Great Eight Tournament earlier this month.

Assembly Procedures
Mr. Abbott said he hopes every student will make at least one assembly announcement while at JBS ... and then explained the protocol:

  • for a simple (under two minutes) announcement, either e-mail Mr. Estes the night before or see him at 8:10 am the morning you'd like to speak
  • for a significant presentation (more than five minutes), contact Dr. Deken to get on the schedule ~ it is advised to do this well in advance
  • for a sound-off (when you talk about something you care about, from something that's happening in the world to something that's happening at JBS), contact Dr. Deken to get on the schedule and have at least one adult read behind you to be sure that what you plan to say lands the way you intend
  • if you need the light and sound crew to assist with music, a PowerPoint, a video, etc., send the info to at least 12 hours in advance

Monday, August 28

*Asian Culture Club: 2017-18 leaders introduced themselves and welcomed all students to participate in upcoming meetings and events. This year's focus will be on Thailand and Buddhism.
*GEO: 2017-18 leaders of the Gender Equity Organization introduced themselves, and explained that the group promotes feminism, addresses gender issues and works on community outreach projects. Noting that even though Saturday marked the 97th anniversary of women's right to vote, Mr. Abbott said there is clearly a long way to go to assure women have equal opportunity and equal pay, and he encouraged students to engage with GEO.
*Haertter Hall Installation: There's a new installation on the arc of the Haertter Hall lobby. It is a quilt representing the African diaspora by artist Basil Kincaid. Kincaid will come to campus later this fall.
*Yearbook: The 2017-18 editors are considering featuring individual pictures in lieu of the traditional class pictures. Students will weigh in via a survey.

Kudos to ...
the varsity soccer team which won the Metro League tournament with a 2-0 game vs. MICDS on Saturday.

Friday, August 25

Assembly Procedures

  • on a regular day, the first bell rings at 8:10; all students should be in their assigned assembly seats when second bell rings at 8:15; if late for assembly, go to balcony of Haertter Hall and check in; if completely miss assembly, check in with school receptionists in the front office
  • drinks are permitted in assembly; food is not
  • no reading, studying or talking during assembly ~ this is a time to lock-in on what's being said at the podium

*6-Man Club: The game of the week is the varsity football game vs. Dupo at 2 pm on Saturday.
*Auditions for Fall Play: Students in grades 9 - 12 who would like to audition for the fall play, The Skin of Our Teeth, should check the call board for details. Auditions will be held after school next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
*Bonsack Gallery Opening: A new exhibit of 20th-century American Ceramics will open at 5:30 pm tonight. Everyone is invited. Also, recently retired fine arts teacher Howard Jones has an exhibit opening at Craft Alliance tonight, from 6 to 8 pm ~ again, everyone is invited.
*JBS Family Picnic: Everyone is welcome to this annual start-of-the-year gathering for students, parents, grandparents, faculty and staff. It runs from noon to 2 pm in the Quad. RSVPs appreciated but not required!
*Music Assemblies: Students who would like to perform (sing, play an instrument, dance, etc.) during a future assembly should see Kelly Schaschl or Bella Strawbridge.
*Outdoor Ed: Students in grades 9 - 12 who would like to climb trees like a pro are welcome to join Mr. Dee after 8th period Monday through Thursday of next week. Forms are available outside of his classroom (106) ~ a permission slip signed by a parent is required.

Temp Locations & Summer Work
In addition to science classrooms and labs being temporarily situated on the south side of campus in "Science Town," FACS is in the yoga room (second floor of athletic center), the library is in the multipurpose room (second floor of Commons), Science Department chair Wayne Winters is in the Lost & Found (next to bookstore) and the Lost & Found is in the locker room hallway (first floor athletic center).

The area surrounding the kiln on the south side of the Fine Arts Building is being re-built ~ work should be complete by the end of September.

Construction on the STAR building is almost exclusively within the fence, allowing safe access to the fields and courts.

Welcome New Faculty and Staff
Mr. Abbott introduced new faculty and staff to the student body: Clayton Bury, Carrie Chapman and Cory Frazier in athletics, Aaron Dowdall and Sara Jay in history, Laura Fogarty and Johanna Nicholas in college counseling, Kevin Menos and Nicole Randall in math, Ashley Oates in fine arts and Jennifer Salrin in administration and English. See brief bios on our News & Events page.

Thursday, August 24

With seniors seated on the stage facing the rest of the student body and faculty, Mr. Abbott welcomed everyone to the start of Burroughs' 95th year.

Josephine Moten '18 played the national anthem (violin), Mr. Abbott encouraged everyone to embrace the year with gratitude and hope, and seniors Sam Holmes and Abdullah Brown-El delivered remarks as the class president and student body president, respectively. (See "Latest News and Assembly Presentations" later today.)

Mr. Abbott also welcomed our 105 seventh graders along with new students in 8th (one), 9th (13), 10th (one) and 11th (two) grades.