Parent Breakfast:

Class II got together with their parents for breakfast this November. Each family made a dish to share. The families interacted and played a group game. The class and parents had a great time!

Handmade Paper:

Students used handmade paper to create japanese tea lanterns and multimedia collages.

Stuffed Animals:

Cuteness abounds in this semester’s stuffed animals activity period.

Science Projects:

Class II has been researching aspects that affect the environment including the gravitational forces of the sun and moon, the Earth's crust, and the water cycle. Each student is conducting research on their topic and creating either a booklet of information, poster, or report.


Students in Class 4 are beginning a unit on electricity. They completed a lab testing how static electricity was generated by different materials and built simple circuits.


During November, some students began a multimedia mask project while others created a landscape collage using foreground, middle ground, and background.  The landscape collages are being used as a reference for pastel drawings.


Students move out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves on the climbing wall!

Equate and Chess:

The students in Classroom I took a break from their regular mathematics lessons to play Equate (a game similar to Scrabble) and Chess. Both of these games provide an opportunity for the students to utilize critical thinking and strategy skills, and to practice social skills.

Social Studies:

Class II has been studying the aspects that make a culture, and have been creating their own culture. Some students are working on creative projects to represent their culture, such as making jewelry, making a game and creating a replica of a building.

Thermal Energy:

Students in Class IV are studying how thermal energy is transferred between materials. In one activity, the students made ice cream in plastic bags to watch the transfer of thermal energy in action!

Handmade Paper:

In art class students created homemade paper that will be used to make Japanese tea lanterns.

Team Building:

Students in p.e. have been participating in adventure education.  While having fun, the classes are learning about communication, cooperation, and teamwork.

The Scientific Method with M&M's:

Class II began their Science curriculum reviewing and learning the scientific method. The students followed the scientific method to see what happens to the color of M&M's in water. The students then created their own unique experiments with M&M's using the scientific method.

Pencil Holders:

In pottery, students made pencil holders shaped like Sponge Bob Square Pants.

Ancient Greek Cultures:

Students in Class IV studied the government systems, cultures and values of Athens and Sparta.  They wrote and performed role plays, and created hand-drawn comics describing the major differences between the city-states.

Meal Planning and Cooking:

The students in Class I have been planning menus and cooking lunch bi-weekly. They have made pesto using basil from the school garden, marinara sauce, tacos and potato leek soup. This activity provides the students with the opportunity to plan meals, develop cooking skills and practice social skills.

Earth Science:

The students in Class III applied the concept of relating half-lives of radioisotopes to the application of dating rocks during a simulation. 

School Year 2011-2012:

Each school year is unique. New students join us, while returning students grow— physically, emotionally and socially. The staff matures as well, returning with another year “under their belts,” with newly discovered passions and interests, and benefitting from their adventures and travels. New staff join the LDFDS community and inevitably change it (almost always in positive ways). We make an effort to introduce new experiences for the children, both educational and social. And finally, each new year usually brings some alteration of the physical school environment, as well.

Of course, each year is also the same in one very important way—we strive to maintain the integrity of the program by adhering to a coherent philosophy that is implemented by a team of like-minded, dedicated educators. Our goal is the provision of a safe, predictable, and peaceful environment—an environment which will allow students to focus their attention and energy on developing academic skills, on forming and navigating satisfying relationships, on communicating effectively, and on “contributing” in a manner that improves their lives as well as the lives of others.

• This year, among the many events and activities we engaged in, a few stand out:

• Two teachers joined us and I can’t imagine a better match for our program. Thank you Meghan and Valerie!

• Everyone is returning next year—that tends to be unheard of in a school like ours. A big thank you to my Assistant Director, Christine, and to my loyal staff, Julie, Janice, Tara, Eric I, Eric S., Amy, Kristin and Paula.

• Don Culp and his drumming classes have brought much more than music instruction to the foster school. Don is a true sensei in its broadest sense.

• The gardening program was resurrected this year by Kristen and a new course was developed utilizing food as the theme to drive instruction in science, health, ethics and history.

• Community Service is being reintegrated as a component of the program. Although slow out of the gate, strides were made through Tara’s hard work and students benefited from their work at Aids Project New Haven, the Life Haven Homeless Shelter and St. Ann’s soup kitchen.

Weaving… representing both a cooperative
endeavor and one student’s passion

A year-long opportunity to learn about self and process

Puppet Making... taught by our multi-talented technology and pottery teacher…

(He sews too!...)

Look at the pride in those faces–

“Yes, you created that!”

Gardening... composting, tilling, sewing seeds, planting weeding

–preparing this year’s harvest

from potential to actualization, earthen bed to table

Making Art... talent unfolds…

“I knew I could draw a praying mantis, but…”

Graduation... a milestone and a beginning

…so many mixed emotions…

As it should be, I suppose!

K'nex Swing Ride

The students in Class IV worked cooperatively to construct a K'nex swing ride, while learning about simple and complex machines. They are in the process building a ferris wheel which will be added to the swing.

East Asian Studies Outreach

Class V enjoyed a trip to Wesleyan University's East Asian Studies Outreach Program. During the trip, they experienced a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony, made their own homemade sushi and learned some basic calligraphy.