The Fessy Den Blog

Private Schools and “Teaching to the Test”: Why Lack of State Testing is an Advantage

Standardized testing, to measure how well schools and educators are teaching children, is constantly under debate. Government programs, such as “No Child Left Behind” and “Race to the Top,” were implemented to give states a standard by which to hold our education system accountable. Instead, these programs have created divides among parents, teachers, and politicians....
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The Promise of the New School Year

Each new school year brings with it feelings of excitement mixed with anxiety, opportunity coupled with trepidation. Boys see so many possibilities, yet they often feel overwhelmed. Fessenden offers an incredibly rich experience for students. During elementary and middle school years, boys pass through a variety of particularly uncertain and vulnerable moments in their development,...
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3 Places a Gifted Middle School Athlete Can Play at a Top Level

When you’re a gifted middle school athlete stuck in an area where there are few opportunities to compete at the highest levels, life can seem agonizing. You may have the fastest serve in town (among 11-year-olds, anyway) but before you can really test your mettle against elite competition, you have to wait two or three...
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3 Things You Can Learn About Educating Young Boys – A Male Early Education Teacher’s Perspective

Male teachers are a rarity in American elementary schools, in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten education, especially. According to data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the more than 600,000 preschool and kindergarten teachers in the U.S. in 2014, less than three percent were men. So, as a male kindergarten teacher, Fessenden’s Keith Fortier...
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3 Cures for Your Gifted Middle Schooler’s Academic Boredom

Are your son’s middle school classes uninspiring? Is his homework just so much drudgery through which to suffer? When classwork is too easy, many gifted students disengage. They coast on their natural abilities, acing their exams but failing to develop the intellectual habits that will sustain them when they reach the greater academic challenges of...
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Designed For Play: How Fessenden’s New Playground Helps Boys Learn

When visiting families see the new playground at The Fessenden School, one thing stands out right away: It doesn’t look anything like a playground—not the ones they grew up with, anyway. Fessenden’s playground has no slides, swings, or monkey bars. In fact, it has nothing you would recognize as traditional playground equipment. “A traditional playground...
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3 Ways a 12-Year-Old Can Learn to Be a Leader

Some people are born leaders. They take control of difficult situations with confidence. They inspire others naturally. And it all seems to come so easily. But research has shown that the leadership abilities that appear to be inborn traits can actually be developed and nurtured during childhood: Researcher Carl Brungardt found in 1997 that leadership...
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