A Melodic Meeting for the PA Winter Coffee

By Tammy Withington P’25, ’25

The MICDS Parents Association (PA) hosted their winter coffee last Thursday, February 23, in the Olson Hall Presentation Room. It was a wonderful turnout of parents who were able to enjoy socializing, drinking coffee, and eating refreshments while being entertained by our beautifully-sounding MICDS string orchestra directed by Dr. Jo Nardolillo, JK-12 Arts Department Chair and Director of Orchestras.

Ava Janes ’23, Emma Shao ’23, Isabelle Williams ’26, Ella Lin ’26, Ava Casillas ’26, Ellie Chen ’26, Saivi Gadi ’25, and Yash Malhotra ’25 were all up early to perform some amazing classical music for our parents. They played beautifully for the Parents Association!

PA President Kelly Wright P’25, ’27, ’29 welcomed two amazing guest speakers. Dr. Sally Maxwell, Assistant Head of School for Teaching and Learning, spoke about Winter Term, where MICDS students will step out of their typical school year trajectory and dive into a two-week “term” between the fall and spring semesters to allow them the opportunity to engage in immersive and experiential projects. Winter Term is expected to launch next January. A big focus of Winter Term is experiential education, a pedagogical process by which educators engage the whole student through a cycle of direct experience, reflection, analysis, and experimentation. Underclassmen will be taking classes on campus and seniors will partake in off-campus experiences such as service learning, interning, or job shadowing.

Next, Dr. Nardolillo, new to MICDS this year, offered remarks about the vision for the arts at MICDS as well as the importance of how art enhances all aspects of education. She spoke to the transformative power of the arts quoting Elliot Eisner: “The arts are fundamental resources through which the world is viewed, meaning is created, and the mind developed.”

She shared how the arts enhance all aspects of education, listing that students engaged in the arts:

  • Have higher reading, writing, and science test scores

  • Are better at problem-solving and creative thinking

  • Have improved neural pathways

  • Have a greater sense of belonging and community

  • Manage stress and anxiety better

During the business portion of the meeting, Wright introduced past president McKay Mills ’92, P’23, ’28, who presented the new slate for the Parents Association Executive Board, the Class Parent Chairs, and Vice Chairs for the 2023-2024 school year.

The MICDS Parents Association is a truly strong and vibrant group. Their mission to foster closer relationships among the parents/guardians, students, faculty, and administration of the School and to maximize positive parental involvement in the School is easily attained given the incredible parents of MICDS!

Save the date! The Parents Association Spring Luncheon meeting will be held on Thursday, April 13, 2023, from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Olson Hall Presentation Room. We encourage all to attend to keep our PA strong. Go Rams!