Ninth Graders Cheer for a New Year

Upper School Community Day was back in full force this year with a host of activities for students on and off campus. Ninth-graders spent the day on campus building bonds and friendships among their advisories. “The goal of the Community Day for the ninth grade is to understand the unique perspectives and experiences that each member of the Class of 2026 community brings to MICDS and the grade,” said Upper School Dean Daniel George.

With a specific focus on collaboration, kindness, gratitude, and respect (and a special color-coded dress-down day), the day began with breakfast and an advisory show & tell. Students shared a family or individual artifact and its significance, giving others a window into a part of their life. With artifacts such as seashells and hats, students told touching and funny stories and how those stories represent who they are and what’s important to them.

Next up, students launched a creative endeavor to design an advisory crest. The goal was to get the students brainstorming on a joint task, incorporating elements from the show & tell, and defining the combined qualities that make their advisory unique. Using a beginner’s guide for a coat of arms, students sketched symbols that might represent the characteristics of their advisory. Students went from coloring with crayons in small circles to designing elaborate crests representative of their unique Upper School cohort that will be made into full woodcut pieces in the Upper School Makerspace.

With the crest in place, and after a few brain-break activities and games, students began drafting an advisory motto, which is a tagline or attitude that sums up their advisory. Mottos are a fun way to create a catchy slogan that others will remember as a distinctive part of that advisory’s “brand.” Students had to brainstorm and wordsmith as a group to form a statement that shares what makes their advisory different from and, presumably, better than the other advisories. Every idea went on the board and was tested aloud with an audience to refine the chosen motto’s impact. In addition, they created a “cheer,” which requires adding choreographed movement to their motto.

Then it was time for lunch! They spent the afternoon diving deeper into the role of the Honor Council and discussing Honor Council case studies. At the end of the day, students were ready for the big reveal of their crests, mottos, and cheers in front of the entire grade seated in Orthwein Theatre. Ninth graders had a blast according to Delaney Janes ’26. “I absolutely ADORED Community Day!” she said. “Working with my advisory to create such a unique crest and fun cheer was such a bonding and fun experience for me and many others throughout the grade! Hearing about the Honor Council was so great, for we got to fully understand the role the Honor Council plays in the Upper School and how important that is for our school. It was honestly so fun to see how our class functions, supports, and cheers one another on throughout the day!” Robyn Davies ’26 said, “I’m so glad we spent community day with our advisory groups. Whether we were brainstorming hilarious advisory slogans or playing volleyball on the fields in between activities, goofing around with friends was the best part of the day. The real challenge of the day was choosing between different rhyming advisory names—a battle met only with a ton of laughs.”

Big thanks to Dean George and the ninth-grade advisors for planning a stellar day of collaboration and connection for the newest members of our Upper School!

*Stay tuned for recaps on the 10th, 11th, and 12th-grade adventures on Upper School Community Day!