Fall Open House

We were happy to host 400 families at our Open House on Saturday. If you missed it, please join us on Tuesday, December 4th from 6:30-9 p.m. for our Winter Open House!

Guests listen to Performing Arts panel

Nobles faculty share details about their specific disciplines at the Curriculum Fair

A beautiful day to get to know Nobles!

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Using Technology to Enhance Learning at Nobles

Nobles is committed to exploring how the use of technology can enhance the learning experience of its students, which can be seen through the incorporation of iPads in the 7th and 9th grade curriculum for the 2012-2013 school year. Focusing specifically on the incorporation of these devices at the 9th grade level, the admissions office was lucky enough to sit down with faculty member Jenny Carlson-Pietraszek to talk about how the introduction of these tools has impacted her classroom.
After a pilot year of having the iPads available for 9th grade students during their history class on a daily basis, the history department decided that in order to realize these tools’ full potential, they needed to physically be in the hands of the students all the time. Therefore, at the beginning of the school year, each member of the 9th grade class received from the school their own personal iPad in their history class to use for the entirety of the year. Here is some of what Jenny Carlson-Pietraszek has to say about the incorporation of these new tech tools in her history classroom.

Q: Why did you want to use the iPads in your course?

A: The iPads have the potential to be extremely powerful learning tools.
A small, light and multifunctional tool, the iPad can serve as a research tool, a repository for all handouts and syllabi, and a creation tool, capable of word processing, spreadsheet, image and video creation. In a sense it is the textbook, the folder, the notebook, and the computer for this course.

Q: How have the incorporation of the iPads enhanced the class?

A: The 9th grade history curriculum focuses on the development of important research skills such as questioning the reliability of a source and identifying the biases a source’s argument might have. With the addition of iPads to the course, students are able to “actively” read or annotate these sources directly on their iPads. In addition, with every new tech tool comes a certain excitement in the room surrounding its capabilities, which simultaneously helps build excitement for the course material itself.

Q: How have the iPads benefitted the students?

A: There is a definite organizational benefit for the kids because everything they need for the course is in one place. Also, there are no additional materials required for the course, which helps alleviate the weight of the students’ backpacks and reduces the amount of stuff they have to bring back and forth from school everyday. Finally, because the students have the tool with them all the time, they are continually finding new ways to apply the iPad to their work across disciplines and to make their more efficient.

Q: What role do you foresee iPads having at Nobles in the future?

A: I would say that it is difficult to predict given how quickly the tech landscape changes, but we would be remiss as an educational institution if we did not explore the potential of these tools. My guess is that whether it is the iPad specifically or not, more and more kids will be showing up at our door step with tablets that have all the functionality of a laptop plus the touch screen and gyroscope that magnify their potential as learning tools.

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Music Lessons at Nobles

Apart from the numerous music and performing arts opportunities that are available within the Nobles Curriculum, students are also given the chance to study privately with outside teachers in their own free periods at school. Starting as young as seventh grade, students can sign up to take weekly lessons with professional musicians during their study halls and frees. Lessons are available in both vocal training as well as instrumental. Once the time is coordinated with the teacher, the student will go to him or her at that same time every week, and an entire period is devoted to the individual study. Many of the teachers, particularly vocal instructors, will also hold a concert at the end of each term. The students they have been coaching are then given the opportunity to perform, and share their newly developed talents with other students and the Nobles community as a whole. Teachers are typically very accommodating and can meet with students at most any time during the day. Individual music lessons are a great way to help students develop their musical talents one on one, apart from the many group ensembles and a cappella groups at Nobles.

Sarah, Senior

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Children Succeed With Character Not Test Scores – according to Paul Tough

The first two sentences of the Nobles mission statement are as follows:

“Noble and Greenough School is a rigorous academic community dedicated to inspiring leadership for the public good. Through mentoring relationships, we motivate students to achieve their highest potential and to lead lives characterized by service to others.”  While not explicitly mentioned, the importance of building good character is something that we hope to instill in each student.

Paul Tough theorizes that success is about how young people build character in his new book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character.   NPR recently interviewed him and you can find the transcript of the interview here:


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In US, private schools get top marks for educating kids

See these results from Gallup’s annual Work and Education poll, conducted August 9-12, 2012: http://www.admission.org/news/detail.aspx?linkid=1322&moduleid=20

If you like what you see, please come and spend some time with us at Nobles.  Our Fall Open House is Saturday, October 13th from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.  Learn more about it here: http://www.nobles.edu/admission/OpenHouse.cfm  We’d love to see you there!

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Affording An Education at Noble and Greenough School

“Nobles aims to attract a diverse and talented student body. To achieve that end, Nobles is committed to providing financial assistance to qualified students whose families cannot afford the school’s full charges.”

Nan Bussey, Nobles Director of Financial Assistance

Take a look and learn more about affording an education at Nobles

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Meet the Nobles Admission Staff – Nan Bussey, Director of Financial Assistance

I’m Nan Bussey, Director of Financial Assistance at Noble and Greenough School. I feel honored to be a part of the Nobles community. Nobles is committed to bringing in students with many different talents and backgrounds, and the school’s strong commitment to financial aid helps us attain this goal. What I like most about Nobles is that everyone is involved in many areas of the school. Musicians are also athletes and artists, and everyone is involved with community service. Like the students, teachers and administrators here at Nobles are also involved in many different areas of the school. I am lucky that I get to spend my afternoons working with students in our afternoon program as a coach for our middle school field hockey, squash and lacrosse teams. For me, Nobles is a community of people who really takes care of each other and understands the importance of service to others. We all learn from one another and that is what makes this place so special.

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Meet the Nobles Admission Staff – Cassandra Velázquez, Associate Director of Admission and Outreach Coordinator

Hi! I am Cassie Velázquez. Since 2004, I have worked at Nobles in the Admission Office. Coming from a college admission background, I have always enjoyed the opportunity to promote educational opportunities to young people. Working at a small secondary school has provided me with the chance to not only continue with outreach but to work with current students on a daily basis. In addition to working in admission, I serve as an advisor to upper school students, teach a Personal Development class, chaperone international travel trips, and I even had a short stint as a middle school baseball coach (I use the term ‘coach’ loosely). It has been great to meet students during the admission process and then watch them grow and experience Nobles.

One of the toughest questions for me to answer from prospective parents is related to how we live out our mission statement – specifically, how we “inspire leadership for the public good”- primarily because there is no way to make it a concise statement. There are myriad ways that I feel we integrate that part of our mission into the daily life at school. The easiest way to provide examples is to talk about our community service programs but even that doesn’t quite scratch the surface. From Assembly to classroom work, from field trips to international travel, from afternoon programs to senior projects, our students are challenged to not just view themselves but to also understand outside perspectives. During your visit to Nobles, I encourage you to ask your tourguide or interviewer about their thoughts on the mission statement. You might hear different answers but I bet they each circle back to the same principle- pushing students to understand themselves and how they can impact change in a community.

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Seven Myths About Independent Schools

What follows is a blog written by Patrick Bassett, President of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).  If you are considering a school like Nobles, you may find yourself wondering about some of the myths that he raises. Take the time to visit Nobles and learn about how we address these myths head-on!


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Why Service Is a Skill Worth Learning

What follows is a blog written by Ann Timm, a middle school teacher from Iowa. What’s great about the blog is that it articulates so many of the reasons why Nobles’ community service program – as a part of our broader experiential learning program – is so essential to our ability to fulfill our mission of inspiring leadership for the public good.


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