News

2022

  • Great Results for Tandem Runners at State Track Meet

    In Richmond today two of our Tandem runners competed in the VISAA State Championship Track Meet to amazing results. Junior Lilly B came in 5th in the state in the 400m, setting a personal record with a time of 1:04.84,  and came in 6th in the state in the 200m with a time of 28.46. These times earned her All-VISAA Track Team honors in both events. Senior Erin O came in 15th in the state in the 3200m (five spots above where she was seeded!) with a time of 14:22.58. Tandem runners were accompanied by coaches Melissa Winder and Mary Lyman Bias, and Athletic Director Sarana Hyatt. What an amazing day on the track in Richmond! Go Badgers!!
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  • Senior Soccer Athlete Featured Player of the Week

    Senior soccer player Anya B, who helped lead the Tandem girls team to a 5th in state ranking and a conference championship, was featured as the Daily Progress Spotlighted Athlete. Check out a great article about Anya and the team here.
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  • Spanish 1 Students Present Skits

    Sonia Brandon's Spanish 1 students presented their final skits in class today. Each student was asked to research a different Spanish-speaking country, and then they were asked to write and present skits based on what they learned about their country. The class learned about tortillas from Spain, handball played in Uruguay, and pupusas in El Salvador, among many other interesting cultural tidbits.
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  • All-Conference Honors for Spring Athletes

    Congratulations to our varsity spring athletes on great seasons. Many were recognized as All-Conference athletes last week by the Greater Piedmont Athletic Conference (GPAC) as follows:

    Soccer Honors: 1st Team All-Conference honors for Anya B and Mia P; 2nd Team All-Conference honors for Tessa D and Emma P.

    Lacrosse Honors: 1st Team All-Conference honors for Jacob C; 2nd Team All-Conference honors for Dylan P.
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  • Science Olympiad Success

    A team of twelve Upper School scientists recently competed in the regional Science Olympiad competition, mentored by US science teacher Alex Siragy, who reported their success, explained the scoring process and handed out medals during Morning Meeting. Teams earn points for events they compete in - our team competed in two thirds of the events. Teams are penalized for events they do not compete in. Tandem's team scored in the middle of all competitors despite not competing in all events, right below Charlottesville High School. Specific medal-winning results included:
    • 3rd place in the Detector Builder event: Mekhi H and Devin M
    • 3rd place in the Ping Pong Parachute event: Cora M
    • 5th place in Code Busters (Ciphers) event:  Josie F, Emi M and Mekhi H
    • 6th place in Trajectory: Jacob C and Dylan P
    Congratulations to our great Science Olympiad team!!

    Trebuchet launch will happen to CT on Monday bball ct. office hours today
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  • 6th Graders Enjoy Visit from World Central Kitchen Volunteer

    Back in March we shared that 6th grade students of Christina Davis and Janet Webster had been busy opening their minds and their hearts. While reading the book Refugee, they studied refugee stories and sponsored a collection drive of items needed by our local International Rescue Committee. While hearing about the refugee crisis brought on by Russia's attack on Ukraine, students decided to hold a bake sale to raise money ($353!) for the World Central Kitchen, an aid organization founded by chefs that had set up mobile kitchens at multiple locations where Ukraine refugees are arriving. During that exact time period, a Tandem staff member had a family member, Dan, who was in Poland volunteering for World Central Kitchen and sharing online posts and videos of the experience that were shared with the class. Some of his videos included tours of the facility they were building, footage of volunteers preparing food in giant pots (one of which could feed over 1000 people), or scenes of refugees arriving at the nearby train station. He was excited to know that 6th graders back in the US were holding a bake sale to support the group and they were fascinated to be following his efforts at the same time. Fast forward to this week - Dan was in town for a visit and came to speak to the 6th graders during Community Time to share about his powerful experience volunteering for a week with World Central Kitchen in Przemysl, Poland. He spoke sincerely about the difference one person can make and answered great questions from the students. It was a great completion to a story that went full circle.
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  • Seniors Adorn Campus with Literary Quotes

    Seniors in Tucker Winter's AP Literature class spent a sunny class period this week (now that their AP exam has been completed) celebrating the written word with chalk. Students wrote favorite quotes from books they read in AP Lit class all around campus on the sidewalks and roadways. It makes for some great reading as you stroll about campus. Check out more photos of the quotes here.
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  • Spanish 3 Students Welcome Mystery Guests

    Sonia Brandon's Spanish 3 students had the opportunity to talk to una invitada misteriosa (mystery guest) recently. Thanks to the initiative of Happy World Foundation, one class was paired up with a volunteer from Argentina and the other from Costa Rica. The objective of the activity was for the students to connect on a Google Meet and ask the mystery guest a number of questions in Spanish to try to guess which Spanish-speaking country they were from. After successfully guessing, the volunteers talked briefly about life in their country and students could ask questions to learn more. One of the goals of the Happy World Foundation is to "help students preview their misconceptions about other cultures, dispel any stereotypes, and fight bigotry and prejudice with anti-bias education." The photos show happy connections being made.
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  • UVA Pathologist Visits Forensics Class

    Casey Reed's Forensics class (seniors) had a fascinating visitor this week. Dr. Brett Kurpiel, a Department of Pathology resident at UVA Hospital (also the spouse of music teacher/medical coordinator Cam Pampus), came to speak about the field of medical pathology. Forensics students are wrapping up the year with a unit on Death Investigations and Autopsies (learning about how investigators can determine cause and time of death). Brett talked about his professional experience performing medical autopsies, his knowledge about specifically forensic-based autopsies, taught them about internal anatomy, and answered a lot of questions about what it is like to work in the field.
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  • Class of 2022 College Decisions Coming In

    Our Class of 2022's college acceptances and decisions (those shared so far - more to come) are listed below - school names in bold have a senior committed to attending; numbers in parentheses indicate multiple acceptances. Some seniors wore college choice shirts/hats one day this week and we took some photos. Some had college gear on order that hadn't yet arrived and we will try to get more photos another time. Way to go, seniors! We look forward to hearing more final decisions soon.

    Agnes Scott College
    Amherst College
    Appalachian State University
    Arizona State University 
    Bard College
    Bates College
    Bridgewater College
    College of Charleston (2)
    Christopher Newport University
    University of Colorado Boulder
    University of Connecticut
    Davidson College
    University of Delaware
    University of Denver
    East Carolina University (2)
    Emory & Henry College
    University of Florida
    George Mason University (4)
    University of Georgia (2 accepted/1 attending)
    Hollins University
    Indiana University-Bloomington
    James Madison University (6 accepted/3 attending)
    Mary Baldwin University
    University of Mary Washington (4)
    Massachusetts College of Art and Design
    University of Miami
    University of Michigan-Flint
    Mount Holyoke College
    New College of Florida
    University of North Carolina Wilmington
    Occidental College
    Pennsylvania State University (3 accepted/1 attending)
    Piedmont Virginia Community College (2 accepted/1 attending)
    Radford University
    University of Richmond
    University of San Francisco
    School of the Art Institute of Chicago
    University of South Carolina
    Southern Methodist University
    Syracuse University
    Temple University (2 accepted/1 attending)
    Temple University School of Nursing
    The University of Tennessee-Knoxville (3)
    Tufts University (2 accepted/1 attending)
    University of Vermont (2)
    Virginia Commonwealth University (6 accepted/2 attending)
    Virginia Commonwealth University (Engineering)
    Virginia Commonwealth University (Nursing)
    Virginia Commonwealth University (School of the Arts)
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (4 accepted/1 attending)
    University of Virginia (5 accepted/1 attending)
    University of Washington
    Wellesley College
    College of William & Mary (2 accepted/1 attending)
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
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  • Teacher Appreciation Week Gratitude 

    We can't thank the Parent Community enough for the amazing Teacher Appreciation Week generosity shared with faculty and staff. Breakfast, snacks, full lunches - there was an amazing feast every day to enjoy. One grateful teacher shared the following: "Getting treats each day for a whole week is really surprising and really special.  Not only has it been helpful to have to work less on making breakfasts and lunches, but it has also been nice to have the camaraderie of bumping into coworkers I don't often see as we grab our treats.  If you can just somehow pass along my gratitude to all of the parents who have worked so hard this week, I'd really appreciate it!" Another added: "Yesterday’s lunch was DELICIOUS!! So, exciting to have so many wheat-free choices!!" Many, many thanks to all who donated food, cooked, set up or cleaned up, or made a donation online. Extra big thanks to the dynamic organizing team of Katina Wilberger, Julie Bowersett, Sarah Bedford and Laura Douglas.
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  • 7th and 8th Graders Sharpening Skills for Exams

    7th and 8th graders are reviewing for their final exams by playing math games to sharpen their integer operations. Check out some photos of their efforts. Math never looked so fun.
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  • Former Tandem Parent Shares Experiences and Perspective on Vietnam War

    Juniors in Tucker Winter's American Literature class enjoyed a culminating experience to their study of Tim O'Brien's Vietnam war remembrance The Things They Carried. Former Tandem parent Toan Nguyen came to share his perspective and experiences as a child in Vietnam during the Vietnam war. Toan has shared generously with our students in the past during their reading of O'Brien's book and is co-founder of the Community Investment Collaborative (CIC), a nonprofit organization that provides individuals in the Charlottesville area — particularly those who come from low-income households and lack college degrees — with training, mentorship and loans to launch their own businesses.
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  • Students Create Cards for Grandparents in Lieu of Grandparents Day on Campus

    This year, once again, the pandemic prevented us from being able to host an on-campus Grandparent's Day. Instead, students were offered the opportunity to create and send a card of their own design to grandparents or special older friends. Some even included photos for the grandparents. Students in both the Upper and Middle Schools participated during Community Time. Philanthropy Director Laura Douglas assembled all of the paper, cards, envelopes, stickers, markers, etc. Students addressed and sealed the cards themselves and were given stamps as well. It was a fun project that made everyone feel good. We all look forward to being able to host our grandparents and special older friends on campus again - it's one of our favorite days of the year! Check out some photos of students working on their cards.
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  • 9th Graders Perform Julius Caesar Scene

    The 9th grade World Literature I classes, with Robert Schuster as their teacher, performed staged readings of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 1, i.e., the assassination of Julius Caesar by the conspiring Senators. Students had approximately 20 minutes to plan out their scenes and then perform them for their classmates. Students were asked to consider the blocking, tone, and pacing of the scene and how these things provide characterization that isn't explicitly explained in the text. Students were pretty excited to just hit each other with 'swords'! Check out photos of their scenes.
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  • Neuroscience Students Apply Brain Function to Daily Life Activities

    Casey Reed's Neuroscience students have been learning about the functions of various structures of the human brain. They were assigned a project to help them learn about these brain functions by considering how a celebrity/friend/pet/family member of their choice might use each part of their brain in daily life. They created posters to illustrate the locations of the brain structures as well as an image to represent when that part might be active for their selected 'person.' Some of their projects are really creative and interesting.
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  • Tandem Students Accepted into Great Summer Programs

    Tandem Upper Schoolers have been accepted into some great competitive summer academic and arts programs. Congratulations to these students for the following acceptances:
    • Mika L - Virginia Summer Residential Governor’s School for Humanities (Radford University)
    • Phia S-J - Virginia Governor's World Language Academies - Latin
    • Musa - Virginia Governor's World Language Academies - Spanish Alternate
    • Talia S - Virginia Summer Residential Governor’s School for Visual & Performing Arts (Radford University)
    • Mika L, Grace W and Larissa F - National Institute of American History & Democracy (NIAHD) Pre-College Program in American History at College of William & Mary
    • Theo A - University of Michigan Stamps School of Art and Design Pre-College Summer Studio (with scholarship)
    • Mika L - Christopher Newport University Summer Humanities Institute
    We look forward to hearing about these summer adventures into academics, world languages and the arts.
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  • Epidermis

    5th and 6th Grade Projects

    5th graders have been studying the human body with Cindy Cartwright, and in particular, epidermis. This week they measured the total inches of skin on a second 5th grader, Alex, for Epidermis Wrap #2. Remarkably, their measurements on two different 5th graders only came out 8 square inches different from one another. 5th and 6th graders today participated in a Battle of the Books with teachers Janet Webster and Christina Davis. The battle was a trivia contest based on a list of ten books (at varying levels of difficulty) they could read. Finally, in observance of Earth Day, students wrote down ideas on ways they could take action in their own lives to help the planet. They are well on their way to becoming terrific world citizens!
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  • 5th Grader Wins Jambalaya Short Story Contest

    5th grader Madeline R-S has won the Village School's Jambalaya "Fragments of the Future" short story contest. The Jambalaya literary journal is published annually, featuring talented writers in the city, county, public, or private schools in the Charlottesville area. Girls in 4th through 8th grades are invited to submit original stories; Madeline won in the grades 4-5 category. Each year contestants' stories have to include a particular line somewhere in their writing. Madeline chose to write a poetic narrative short story titled You Were Just Here.
    The 2022 Jambalaya awards ceremony will be held at New Dominion Bookstore on May 20, from 2:30 - 4:00 pm. You can read Madeline's short story here. 
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  • 7th Graders Take on Linear Equations

    7th graders, who are learning how to graph linear equations in Shannon McCullough's class, made these cool “stained glass” patterns.
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  • Class of 2022 Presents Great Senior Projects

    The Tandem Friends Class of 2022 just finished presenting their Senior Projects to the Upper School community during Community Time and to parents and guests at a Senior Project Night capstone event on campus. A major project has been required of every graduating senior at Tandem Friends since the school’s inception in 1970. Current Seniors select a hands-on area of interest–either something completely new to them or an area to further develop. This experiential project includes a detailed journal, regular meetings with technical and faculty advisors, an oral presentation to the community, and a detailed written research paper/synopsis of the project. The Class of 2022 showed great perseverance, resilience, and optimism in their work, which included topics from learning ballet to audio engineering. One project presentation even ended with a faulty member getting a haircut from a senior. Here is a link to the list of the Class of 2022's project topics. Congratulations to all of our seniors for their hard work and mastery, and to our faculty advisors for their dedication to this annual rite of passage that never fails to impress. Check out more photos of presentations as well as photos from Senior Project Night here.
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  • Spanish I Students Present on La Familia

    Sonia Brandon's Spanish 1 students (8th and 9th graders) presented projects today that they have been working on over the last few weeks. Students were asked to dig a little into their genealogy. Then, in the target language of Spanish, they created a family tree and described in detail several family members, including themselves. Here are a few of them presenting their final work.
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  • Tandem Earth Helps Celebrate Earth Day

    This week our student-led Tandem Earth group hosted three Earth Day-related events during lunch. On Wednesday, students could create campus beautifying chalk art and painted rocks for placement around campus. On Thursday, students planted wildflowers in beds near the Main Building. On Friday, Tandem Earth held a clothing swap/thrifting event out front by the guest parking lot. For every piece of clothing people brought to swap, they could take one piece of clothing. Check out some photos of these fun events.
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  • 7th Grade Day of Absence Project Creates Thought-Provoking Material

    7th graders in Carolyn Warhaftig's English class had a powerful recent assignment called Day of Absence. Knowing that African Americans are still largely underrepresented in history books and in the narrative in general, their goal was to change that by imagining what American History and the U.S. would look like without the contributions of African Americans. Using a list of over 50 topic subjects, students chose a person and set out to create a one-pager of information that included background/biographical information, the person's major contributions (why should we know their name?), the impact of their contributions (what would life be like without this person’s contributions?), and a visual depiction of their topic person using images and/or word art. Their amazing and detailed works now adorn the Math/Science lobby. Check it out.
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  • 5th Grade Scientists Studying Bluebirds and Human

    Cindy Cartwright and her energetic and inquisitive 5th grade scientists keep busy with a wide variety of hands-on projects. This week, they began monitoring Tandem's bluebird boxes. Former Middle School science teacher Christine Putnam introduced this type of study to them before Spring Break, and this week they began checking campus boxes for blue eggs, which have been located on nests. Stay tuned for more bluebird details. This week they also launched their study of the human body with an epidermis experiment - "Approximately how much skin does Henry have?" They employed a lot of newspaper and one cooperative human body - Henry - to begin their calculations. More details to come. Check out photos from both studies.
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  • Latin Students Succeed on National Latin Exam

    Tandem Friends Upper School Latin students earned some great results on the 2022 National Latin Exam. 
    Two students were gold medal winners who also received a Summa cum laude ("with highest praise") certificate - Phia S-J (Latin 4) and Adam K (Latin 4); Josie F (Latin 4) was a silver medal winner who also received a Maxima cum laude ("with very great praise") certificate;  Mika L (Latin 4), Willow K (Latin 3), and Emma P (Latin 3) were Magna cum laude ("with great praise") certificate winners; and, Theo A (AP Latin) was a Cum laude ("with praise") certificate winner. Congratulations, Latin scholars!
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  • Senior Project Fun for 5th and 6th Graders

    Senior Harper T took on Sports Management for her Senior Project study and mastery. This week, she asked Middle School Director Todd Love if she could host a 'field day' of games for 5th and 6th graders as one of her culminating projects. Todd said yes, and on a warm Wednesday afternoon, more than thirty 5th and 6th graders found themselves down on the field enjoying team competitions such as three-legged races, egg/spoon carry, minefield (partner activity where one guides a 'blind' partner around obstacles), sprinting and more. There were lots of competitive team voices and a real spirit of fun followed by a cool treat. Harper was assisted by some fellow seniors and the 5th and 6th graders really enjoyed the games.
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  • Sophomores Complete Seminar Projects

    Tandem sophomores completed the final stage of their Sophomore Seminar academic rite of passage this week with last night's Sophomore Seminar Capstone event. The community was invited to come and hear about their research, and each sophomore set up an information station complete with display, then answered questions from anyone in attendance who stopped by to chat. Thanks to all who came.

    Sophomores presented their research projects to their classmates during classes the past few weeks. Students spent second semester researching and writing a 15+ page academic paper on a subject of their choosing. After completing their papers, which include detailed footnotes and bibliographies, each presented in person to their classmates; topics/papers are argumentative, so they must make some sort of defensible argument about their topic. They provided some really interesting insights into their topics and displayed their academic maturity over the course of the semester. Well done, sophomores! Check out a list of their impressive and interesting topics below.
    • Pros and cons of professional sports team ownership
    • Cultural beliefs and media representations of haunted houses
    • The human brain's emotional response to music
    • Effects and dangers of teen social media use 
    • Changes in music theory over time
    • History and developing popularity of skateboarding as a sport
    • How personality types affect the formation of friendships
    • Development of modern psychiatry
    • Environmental and social problems in the rock climbing community
    • Importance of physical therapy and athletic training
    • Football regulations and rules in response to CTE
    • Are serial killers born or made by their environments?
    • Stylistic changes in contemporary stage musicals
    • Scientific and metaphysical function of dreams
    • Bereavement and strategies for dealing with it
    • History and appeal of anime
    • Teen relationship abuse and prevention
    • History of hip-hop
    • Compensation for college athletes
    • Problems with the American criminal justice and prison system
    • Media portrayal and misrepresentation of serial killers
    • Effects of China's "One Child" policy
    • Hacking skill as a cybersecurity measure
    • Portrayal of women in hip-hop
    • Placebo, nocebo, and the power of the human brain
    • Development and effectiveness of historical close-combat weaponry
    • Effects of fashion influencers on teen mental health and body image
    • Antibiotics, overprescription, and dangers of antibiotic resistance
    • Characterization and appeal of heroes and villains in media
    • Scientific ethics in the wake of the Milgram Prison Experiment
    • Efficacy and widespread use of Caesarean section for childbirth
    • Effectiveness and impact of Russian mafia
    • Development and effect of 20th-century war photography
    • Dangers of conspiracy theories
    • Effects of dyslexia on creativity
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  • Senior Iris Susen Receives Emily Couric Leadership Forum Scholarship

    We’re very proud of Tandem Friends senior Iris Susen, this year's Tandem Friends School nominee for The Emily Couric Leadership Scholarship Award, who was recently awarded an $18,000 scholarship from The Emily Couric Leadership Forum. The eleven local leadership award finalists (one from each local high school) were honored in person and online on April 11 and in the press. 

    Iris joined Tandem in 11th grade, and has become an active and enthusiastic leader in academics and athletics. Iris has served as co-editor of our student newspaper, a member of our cross country and track teams, an active actor and Drama Club member here and in the local community, a Student Senate leader, a local on Meals on Wheels volunteer and camp counselor, an avid a capella singer and arranger, and so much more. Congratulations, Iris!

    Check out a video shared by The Emily Couric Leadership Forum featuring Iris here. Learn more about each nominee here

    The Emily Couric Leadership Forum "established the Emily Couric Leadership Scholarship to be awarded annually to a senior girl attending any high school in Charlottesville or Albemarle. The goal is to acknowledge and encourage young women in leadership roles in government and the community. Each school is asked to nominate a senior girl who demonstrates leadership in her school and the community. A selection committee comprised of community leaders interviews the nominees and makes the final selection."

    The Emily Couric Leadership Forum itself honors the memory of State Senator Emily Couric, who modeled a strong commitment to learning and service. Her many contributions to the community encouraged all women to "adopt an active role in government, public issues, and policy debates affecting their communities, and to inspire young women to pursue activities which will enable them to become effective leaders." The group has awarded over $1M to young women since the scholarships began in 2001, and awarded $150,000 for this 2022 year.
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  • Vocab Final Four March Madness

    7th and 8th grade English teacher Carolyn Warhaftig brought back the March Madness vocabulary competition to 7th and 8th grades again this year. Using teams of two, the pairs move through the brackets like in basketball. The way they play it is similar to "Heads Up" - a  vocabulary word from the class list of over 60 words is shown and one partner on a team has to define it and get the other partner to guess it. The most correct words in a minute wins. Teams play several rounds to get to the Final Four; those championship rounds were held this week during Community Time. Other students serve as timekeepers, scorekeepers, and facilitators to keep the championship round moving smoothly. After a lively couple of rounds, the champion teams for each grade were declared. Congratulations, word wizards!
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  • 6th Graders Taking on Academic and Service Projects

    6th grade students of Christina Davis have been busy opening their minds and their hearts of late. While reading the book Refugee, they studied refugee stories and sponsored a collection drive of items needed by our local International Rescue Committee. Their efforts yielded a great response. While hearing about the refugee crisis brought on by Russia's attack on Ukraine, students decided to hold a bake sale to raise money for the World Central Kitchen, an aid organization founded by chefs that has set up mobile kitchens at multiple locations where Ukraine refugees are arriving. These mobile kitchens have already served over one million meals there. 6th graders baked a huge array of delicious treats and yesterday made $353 for World Central Kitchen at their sale. Wow! In science class, these students dissected owl pellets, identified the bones, and will be looking at the transfer of energy between trophic levels. Check out some photos from these projects.
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  • Peeps Projects Peeping Out Again

    Tandem's 9th and 10th grade history students have once again accepted the annual extra credit creative challenge by teacher Melissa Winder to create a diorama depicting a famous historical event using marshmallow Peeps, an Easter candy favorite. Some students even work the name Peeps into the titles of their creative works. This is the sixth annual 'Peeping into History' project - we always look forward to these colorful and fun history tableaux. Check some out!
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  • Senior Comp Students play Novel Jenga

    In Senior Composition class this week, teacher Tucker Winter battled the rain doldrums to wake up students with a round of 'Novel JENGA.' Each tile had a number on it that corresponds to a question about the book they are reading, Like Water for Elephants. As they pulled a tile, students answered the question that matched the tile they pulled and discussed it.
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  • 5th Grade Scientists Continue Research

    5th grade scientists continue researching and working on both their Journey North tulip project, and their meter stick shadow project. With their tulip project, 12 of the 20 bulbs they planted on November 18 have emerged at varying heights. Check out the latest Journey North post photo about Tandem's project. Students continue collecting data on the length of a meter stick's shadow throughout the year. Their newest project was a study of cells - check out some of their great projects in the photos!
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  • 9th Grade Poetry Translation Projects

    9th graders in Robert Schuster's class are completing their Poetry Translation Projects! Basically, students in the 9th grade had to find a poem written in a language other than English (and which they didn't read in class) and then attempt to translate it into English without looking at, listening to, or reading any extant English translations. They were encouraged to choose a poem written in the world language they are studying. Their goal was to produce a product that was simultaneously faithful to the original work's content and style as possible, intelligible to English readers, and beautiful to listen to aloud—obviously, this was a difficult task because these things are often in conflict with each other. They were allowed to enlist the help of friends, teachers, parents, or anyone else who could help them with interpretation and translation, and in the end, they read both the original versions and their translations to each other over a multi-class celebration of poetry! The translations will be printed out and put up on billboards in the Math/Science building (most likely) so that others can read them. 
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  • AP Literature Students Analyze Things Fall Apart

    AP Literature students of Tucker Winter were recently given a pretty cool assignment based on the first part of Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, a novel that depicts pre-colonial life in the southeastern part of Nigeria and the invasion by Europeans during the late 19th century. Students were asked to design a one-page creation that shared the following:
    • The book's title and author.
    • Images, symbols and words that capture the character of Okonkwo and his values, strengths and flaws.
    • Three (or more) proverbs that reveal specific beliefs or values of the Igbo people and include visuals that go with them, including why you chose them and what you think they mean.
    • A decorated page border that reflects an understanding of the society.
    • A visual timeline of the year’s events in Umuofia - including all festivals and celebrations and encompassing the whole year.
    • A list of the things (physical as well as values) the Igbo value in their society and drawings to support those.
    • Two to three quotes from the first section of the novel that are significant to the work as a whole.
    Check out some of their beautiful creations.


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  • Meg Davis, Tandem's 2022 Golden Apple Award Winner

    Golden Apple Award Winner for 2022 Announced

    Tandem is proud to announce that Middle School Latin teacher Meg Davis has been named our 2022 recipient of a Golden Apple Award for excellence in teaching. Meg began teaching at Tandem in 2018 and brings a contagious energy, compassion, humor and excellence to her work teaching Latin to Middle Schoolers. She makes it fun and accessible! "Meg makes the children want to learn by communicating to them—clearly and unequivocally—that she cares. She believes in her students so strongly that they inevitably start believing in themselves. She is very smart, very kind and has a huge heart," read a nomination. Also, "I don’t know how she does what she does so well. My child has grown in ways I don’t think he ever would have if Meg was not his teacher."

    Golden Apple Awards are presented each year by sponsor Richard L. Nunley (Better Living Building Supply and Cabinetry) to honor outstanding teachers in our community's schools. The awards are presented to teachers from both public and private schools (VAIS members) in Albemarle County and the city of Charlottesville. One winner is selected from each school, based upon parent and student nominations, which were solicited via form all winter. In addition to receiving a Golden Apple, each recipient also earns a grant of $500, which can be used for classroom materials or to support professional development. Golden Apple Award recipients will be honored in a ceremony (online or possibly in person) on May 19. Congratulations, Meg!
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  • Senior Comp Students Step into Circus History

    Students in Tucker Winter's Senior Composition class met this week with LaVahn Hoh, UVA Professor of Emeritus, Circus History.  LaVahn talked with the students about the History of the Circus with an emphasis on Depression Era circus trains in the 1930s as part of their introduction to the novel, Water for Elephants, by Sarah Gruen. He and his wife, M.F. Hoh, regaled the students for a full hour with his stories from his many years of teaching at the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey clown college. He talked about the time he was able to ride an elephant in the Spec parade, and about his good friend who was the human cannonball. He addressed his views on Cirque du Soleil and talked a bit about animal rights and the circus. LaVahn shared tons of old photographs during this wonderful class. He also gave everyone in the class an old circus program to keep, which the kids really loved. 
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  • Five Varsity Boys Basketball Players Receive Conference Honors

    Our Badger varsity boys basketball team completed a great season this weekend. The Greater Piedmont Athletic Conference announced All-Conference honors during the GPAC tournament, and five Tandem players were named. Congratulations to the following Badger student athletes for their fine play this season:
    • Tvo G. - First Team All Conference
    • DJ W. - First Team All Conference
    • Zephan D. - Second Team All Conference
    • Jay M. - Second Team All Conference
    • Alden S. - Second Team All Conference
    Congratulations to the entire team, and to coaches Sam and Stanley, on a remarkable season. The last few weeks were a real test of endurance and playing skills, and every person gave it their best winning seven straight games in three weeks! Go Badgers!
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  • 6th Graders Ponder Refugee Stories

    6th grade students are currently reading Refugee by Alan Gratz. The book is told from the points of view of three refugee children who hail from three different countries during three different times in history. Josef and his family flee Nazi Germany in 1938; Isabel and her family flee Cuba in 1994; and Mahmoud and his family flee Syria in 2015. Although each tale is unique, there are similar ethical questions of empathy and personal responsibility woven throughout each story- What obligation do we have to help strangers born into circumstances less fortunate than our own? Is choosing to "mind our own business" synonymous with silently condoning the behavior that led to people becoming refugees? Teacher Christina Davis shares that, "The kids have really amazed me at how thoughtful and insightful their opinions are. The story is a great one, however, it is also heart wrenching. Although the main characters in the book are fictional, many of the events from the book did actually take place. My question to them will ultimately be - Is discussing painful events from history necessary to ensure that they are not repeated in the future?" 6th grade Civics teacher Cindy Cartwright is also using Refugee with the students in World Religions as a springboard to introduce Judaism.

    Students will continue reading the book after Mid-Winter Break and will also be holding a drive for the International Rescue Committee. Stay tuned for details about what and how you can donate to their IRC drive.
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  • History Teacher Featured in Educational Podcast

    Middle School History teacher Brandon Perry was a featured guest in an educational podcast last week. It is called Stronger Together, a video podcast hosted by Dr. Matthew X. Joseph and focused on the importance of connections and collaboration within education. Brandon's episode particularly focuses on the ultimate message of connection - between teachers and students and between teachers and teachers. It also touches on how Brandon is becoming a digitally connected educator, and a better classroom teacher because of that. Check it out here (season 1 episode 9).
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  • Tandem Coach and PE Teacher Named Local Coach of the Year

    We're proud to share that Tandem Friends coach and Middle School PE teacher Avis Fields was named Coach of the Year in the HER Inaugural Sports Awards. HER SPORTS hosted these awards (held in honor of National Girls and Women’s Sport Day) to acknowledge the accomplishments of local female athletes and coaches in Charlottesville and surrounding counties; winners were announced on February 5. Locally, Avis coaches JV Volleyball at Tandem Friends, HER Sports Club Volleyball, and Vision Sports Club volleyball. She is a certified Hip-Hop Step instructor. She coached Junior Olympic 16U and 18U volleyball teams in Charlotte, NC and assistant coached a D-I volleyball team at Winston-Salem University. She is also a recipient of a local Golden Apple teaching award. Avis brings an empowering positivity and compassion to her coaching and teaching. Congratulations, Avis, on this well-deserved award!
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  • Students Investigate Science vs Pseudoscience

    7th and 8th grade scientists have been investigating the difference between science and pseudoscience. Teacher Anne Deane shared, "We reviewed the standards and methods of science, and learned to identify a number of logical fallacies (false cause, appeal to nature, bandwagon, cherry-picking, etc). Students then researched a sketchy pseudoscientific claim, such as Bigfoot, ESP, or Flat Earth, and debunked it. Although some of the claims were ridiculous (and our search histories may never recover), we have learned a lot about how to separate valid claims from shiny nonsense."
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  • 8th Graders Hear a Holocaust Survivor's Story

    8th graders in Carolyn Warhaftig's English class have been reading Elie Wiesel's Night and learning about the Holocaust. They welcomed Linda Ferguson to their Community Time on Friday. Linda is a longtime Charlottesville resident whose mother, Eva Dreikurs Ferguson, is a Holocaust survivor. Linda's mother left Austria when she was 9 years old. Sadly, Eva's father and grandparents were unable to escape and perished in the concentration camps. Linda shared her mother's story with our 8th graders, who found it both compelling and sad and asked many questions.
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  • Students Participate in 2022 Quaker Youth Leadership Conference

    Six Upper Schoolers are representing Tandem at this year's 2022 Quaker Youth Leadership Conference (held February 3-5), an annual gathering which connects students from Quaker schools all over the world. This year's conference is being held both in person at Friends Central School in Philadelphia, and virtually for those schools that want to participate from afar. Tandem's virtual student delegation includes seniors Sophie P and Caroline B, juniors Mia P, Anna W, Talia S and Lilly C, and sophomore Julian P; teacher Jason Farr is their faculty sponsor. Tandem students will be together at Tandem as they participate virtually through Saturday.

    This year's theme, "Window Into My World: Seeking Equity through Stories," will ask participants to think about "the importance of storytelling in our lives, and how stories can help us understand ourselves and others better." Tandem participants will join in virtual getting to know you activities, workshops about stories and storytelling with presenters who use storytelling in various ways throughout their professional and personal lives, daily Meeting for Worship, a storytelling panel, keynote speaker Ron Norsworthy, virtual affinity spaces, a talent show, student-led workshops, and much more. QYLC presenters include documentary filmmaker/photographer Natasha Cohen Carroll; artist and educator Dwight Dunston of Lion's Story; narrative expressionist artist and writer Jesse White; and Karen Campbell, a teacher and administrator at Penn Charter School who is also a part of Lion's Story.

    Tandem students always 'return' from QYLC fueled with ideas and information that will help inspire and guide our community.
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  • Students Talk to State Politicians on Conservation Lobby Day

    Five Tandem Upper Schoolers (four sophomores and one junior - all members of the Tandem Earth group) spent February 1st participating in Conservation Lobby Day, something our Tandem Earth students have done for many years. The students are working in partnership with Virginia Conservation Network to talk (virtually) to their state senators and delegates about environmental bills that are currently circulating through the state house and senate. Some of the topics of the bills the students are lobbying for include: Clean Energy (solar-ready roofing), Wildlife Corridor protection, Greenhouse Gas Regulation, Environmental Literacy (education in schools about environmental issues), and protecting indigenous land in Virginia. They participated in four online meetings to lend their voices and insights, and when they weren't busy with these online meetings, they were working as a committee to plan Earth Day and other Tandem Earth plans for the year. Thank you to Emi M, Zoe J, Josie F, Mika L, Kaia C, and science teacher Casey for your passionate stewardship.
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  • 5th Graders Take on Third Engineering Challenge

    5th graders have been testing the 'bridges' they designed in their third engineering challenge with teacher Cindy Cartwright, the Platform Bridge Challenge. Pairs of engineers worked together to create a paper bridge that would span the distance between two stacks of, what else, National Geographic magazines. Testing was accomplished by placing individual pennies on each bridge to see how many the structure could hold before collapsing. 
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  • Tandem Sophomore Chosen to Illustrate Local Author's Book

    Tandem junior Theo Adams, also a talented artist, has more reasons than the rest of us to like snow. Theo was chosen by local author Flora Reser Wyatt to illustrate her children’s book Let it Snow! Theo created 35 illustrations for the book using ink and watercolor on paper. He worked on many of the illustrations during an independent art class last semester.

    Check out some of his wonderful illustrations. Congratulations on becoming a published artist, Theo!
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  • Tallest Structure Challenge

    5th Graders Take on Engineering Challenges

    Our ever-inquisitive and creative 5th grade scientists, led by teacher Cindy Cartwright, started the semester with a couple of engineering challenges. Challenge #1 was the Tallest Tree Challenge. Students worked in pairs mostly to create the tallest self-standing structure they could out of newspaper and tape. Their goal was to create the tallest such structure and to find out the answers to some basic design questions: What shape is the strongest? What forces are at work in any structure? What role does the base of a structure play? 

    In the Tree Challenge, students had to design a 3-D tree that could stand up, creating it out of a file folder. The goal was to create a tree that could withstand a gentle wind (made by fanning the tree with a file folder).
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  • Sophomores Launch Sophomore Seminar Research

    Tenth graders spent a day this week at UVA launching into their Sophomore Seminars. For the next three months, they will each dive into deep learning about their chosen topics, developing their skills as researchers, writers, and presenters. On Wednesday, they were able to spend the day learning about the UVA library system, touring both the databases and the physical spaces, and gathering sources for their upcoming research. They were chaperoned by teachers on the 9/10 team who will support them throughout their research process in the coming months.
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  • Tandem Juniors Find Houses for Great Gatsby Characters

    Tandem juniors are studying F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby with teacher Tucker Winter. This week students participated in a House Hunters: Great Gatsby Edition activity where they used current Zillow listings located near the New York setting of the book to choose the "Best" house for characters Nick, Gatsby, Tom & Daisy, and Myrtle & George. Students had five actual listings for each person's house from which to choose, and they had to write a statement for each justifying their choices based on their understanding of each character in the novel from their reading. There were some pretty fascinating houses to choose from. 
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