The Fessy Den Blog

The Importance of Communication Skills and When to Build Them

Think about the number of times you have been required to interact with colleagues, peers, or strangers in the last week. Have you attended a work meeting? Participated in an important discussion that required a shared consensus? Or simply had to send an email to a group of people? Communication and public speaking are critical...
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5 Ways to Measure the ‘Success’ of a Boarding School Program

In more ways than one, boarding school is an investment. There is, of course, the financial reality of tuition associated with a private school education. But the term “investment” extends beyond the financial cost of a tuition-driven educational experience. It is also an investment in your child’s future. As you consider private school as an...
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Can Tradition Really Coexist With Innovation in Middle School?

In a time of accelerated change in nearly every aspect of life, private schools often strive to deliver a program that blends tradition with innovation, simultaneously honoring the past and preparing students for the future. The terms “traditional” and “innovative” are seemingly paradoxical, so what does this actually mean? And how can you determine whether...
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The Private School Difference In a World of Standardized Tests

Private School Difference

If you’re one of the many parents deciding between private and public school for your child, you know there are myriad considerations ranging from the cost of tuition to the intangible feel of an academic environment. With subtle differences at each grade level—organized sports won’t rank high on your priority list if you’re in the...
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Does Your Child’s Preschool Spark Joy?

Preschool Spark Joy

There’s a lot to be said for cherishing the things that spark joy in your life. Just ask Marie Kondo or any of her “Tidying Up” devotees. But while the KonMari Method has swept the States by storm and people are blessing their belongings goodbye in search of happiness, the idea of joy is a...
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Why Parents Must Get Comfortable with the Word ‘Failure’

Parents often have a visceral reaction to the word “failure” in the context of student learning. This is especially true of parents who pay tuition at a private or independent school. An investment in your child’s education should lead to success, right? And isn’t failure antithetical to achievement? You already know the answer to this,...
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How Community Service Shapes Executive Functioning

The middle school years mark an important transition for young boys. Their educational journeys will undergo big changes as they move from a contained classroom setting with a single teacher to an experience in which they may see four or five different teachers per day. However, this is not the only change. Their adolescent brains...
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The Case for Studying Spanish in Pre-K and Kindergarten

At Fessenden, we believe students benefit in myriad ways from studying a second (or third) language. In fact, you can often find our youngest learners exploring Spanish in our Pre-K and Kindergarten classes. Throughout the year, children in our earliest grades expand their cultural awareness, reinforce fundamentals (such as math and literacy), and have fun...
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The ABCs of Middle School Boys: ‘C’ is for Change

This is part 3 of a three-part series. In parts one and two of this three-part series, we addressed common challenges and fears that can be associated with parenting a middle school boy. We assured you that feeling uncomfortable and uncertain about your parenting techniques is normal, and that it’s healthy and developmentally appropriate for...
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Pre-K Specials: What Are They and Why Are They Important?

In most middle and high schools, elective courses are offered to students to supplement core classes (English, math, science, history). You may even remember electives as your favorite subjects in school. Did you master the art of photography in a dark room? Perhaps you developed culinary techniques in home economics? Research suggests that it is...
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