The Langley School News


Students at The Langley School "Rocked the Red" on Friday, November 30 when the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup trophy made a stop at the school as part of its victory tour celebrating the Washington Capitals' 2018 championship win.

During a brief assembly, students in every grade level had the opportunity to see, touch, and take photos with the Stanley Cup as well as meet the Capitals' mascot, Slapshot. This exciting experience was made possible by Roger Mody, a Langley parent and co-owner for Monumental Sports & Entertainment, who arranged for the trophy to spend several hours at the school.

"Whether in the classroom or on the athletic field, we teach our students the value of collaboration, perseverance, and good sportsmanship," says Dr. Elinor Scully, head of The Langley School. "The Stanley Cup embodies these qualities and serves as an example of what can be achieved when we work together to overcome challenges. This was a truly unforgettable experience for our students and faculty!"

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During the week of October 8, students in grades 6 and 7 enjoyed multi-day, off-campus trips which provided hands-on learning opportunities and encouraged team-building.

Grade 7: Students traveled to Jamestown and Williamsburg to experience Colonial America first-hand. They learned about the early settlement of Jamestown based on findings from recent archeological digs, took part in historical programs in Colonial Williamsburg, enjoyed Colonial food at several local taverns, and capped off the trip with a visit to nearby Busch Gardens.

Grade 6: Students took part in two day trips around the DC area, including Calleva where they were challenged on a team-building ropes course and the Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center where they participated in the Mission to Mars STEAM Lab program.

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As a capstone to their Langley experience, the eighth-grade class traveled to New Mexico in September for a week-long adventure that serves as an important part of the curriculum. The trip gave students the opportunity to immerse themselves in a different culture, develop valuable leadership skills, and learn about environmental sustainability.

Students spent time in several New Mexico cities – including Albuquerque, Taos, and Santa Fe – where they learned about the history and culture of the area, toured museums and historic sites, explored how members of different communities support each other, and enjoyed hiking and whitewater rafting. Students also learned about environmental sustainability as they studied permaculture.

Organized by the Global Youth Leadership Institute, the trip allowed time for students to take part in leadership games and activities, mindfulness, personal storytelling, and reflection on their impact on the world at-large.

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A group of Langley Middle Schoolers attended the NASA Downlink program hosted by the George Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science on September 18. During the event, students were able to communicate directly with Dr. Serena Aunon-Chancellor, an astronaut aboard the International Space Station. She spent time answering questions from participants, while also demonstrating how those aboard the space station eat, drink, and keep themselves clean. Dr. Aunon-Chancellor reinforced the need to develop critical-thinking skills, flexibility, innovative thought, and a collaborative approach to problem-solving.

Students also had the opportunity to meet and take part in a Q&A session with Dr. Charles Camarda, a former astronaut who was aboard the STS-114 Discovery mission in 2005.

"I learned so much about space and about our future," said seventh-grader Annamaria T. "In all, this experience made me think about our future and opportunities with space."

Click here to view a video of the NASA Downlink on YouTube.

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On August 28, Langley's entire faculty spent the day downtown taking part in a series of critical-thinking workshops at the National Gallery of Art and several Smithsonian museums. The morning session at the National Gallery centered around Harvard's Project Zero thinking routines, with teachers using pieces of art to practice a thinking routine. They explored how to use art in all disciplines and how these routines could be used to enhance student learning and critical-thinking skills.

In the afternoon, faculty attended a variety of sessions led by Smithsonian museum educators, including: Inquiry Through the Invention Process, Fostering Wonder Through Conversation and Community, Artwork as a Springboard for Inquiry and an Enhanced Global Perspective, Peeling the Fruit: Tracking and Guiding the Inquiry of Art, and the National Museum of Natural History Q?rius.

This unique professional development opportunity was a big hit with our faculty, providing them with strategies to generate a deeper level of critical thinking and observation in their students and helping them explore their own ability to think critically.

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On Tuesday, May 8, fifth-graders participated in a unique cultural experience: an authentic cricket match. This spring marks the 20th year that Langley fifth-graders have taken part in this annual tradition first introduced in 1998 by Langley teacher Mark Loach, who was born and raised in England.

Donned in crisp white attire, students split into two teams – Oxford and Cambridge – and played first and second innings throughout the day on the school's turf field, with enthusiastic parents cheering them on. Students also enjoyed a taste of authentic British cuisine during a morning "elevenses" refreshment break and afternoon tea, completing the typical cricket experience.

Watching Langley's fifth-graders skillfully bat, politely clap for opponents, and use terms such as "wicket" and "over," it was hard to believe that most students had little knowledge of the game prior to this spring. For the past month, students patiently learned the terminology, rules, and techniques of this complex sport during their P.E. classes and lunch breaks.

So why has cricket become a fifth-grade tradition at The Langley School? This unique sport offers an innovative way to expand students' understanding and perspective of the world, as well as teach them the importance of honesty, teamwork, and sportsmanship. And the traditions and rules of cricket provide the perfect learning opportunity.

"Through the unique experience of cricket, children learn to celebrate the achievements of others and reach new heights in Langley's core values of respect, citizenship, trust, honesty, and kindness," says Mr. Loach. "Cricket offers an even playing field where children are all learning something new. Since honesty and respect for one's opponent are integral parts of the game, we stress that while winning is important, it is surpassed by the manner in which you play."

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On May 2, Langley hosted the annual Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) track and field meet. For the fifth consecutive year, Langley came in first place and took the league title, making it our 13th title in the last 15 years. Students in grades 5-8 from six of the seven league schools competed in the four-hour meet, including more than 50 Langley students. In all, the meet featured 30 events, including the 80-meter sprint, 200-, 400-, and 600-meter races, several relays, shot put, and long jump. Langley's win was a complete team effort, with numerous students placing in each race.

Read more about Langley Takes Top Honors at Track Meet for Fifth Straight Year


As part of their study of the 50 states, third-graders reached out to small towns across America – and they received a tremendous response. Each student is researching a specific state, from its geography and culture to its history and industries. But rather than limit their research to books and websites, students are gathering information from actual residents of their state.

Third-graders identified local, small-town newspapers in their state and wrote letters to the editor asking local residents to send items to help them learn more about the state. Letters from our students have appeared in nearly 200 newspapers across the country, and America is responding. Countless envelopes and boxes from the generous people of Idaho, Colorado, Mississippi, Michigan, Wyoming, Alaska, West Virginia, and more have arrived at Langley filled with letters, postcards, maps, flags, pictures, and souvenirs. Some of the most unique items include a drum from a native Eskimo tribe in Alaska, personal letters from a city mayor, a district court judge, a state representative, and a governor, a box of Spam items from Minnesota, and every imaginable item that can be made from potatoes from Idaho.

The project so impressed one Idaho resident when she saw The Langley School's letter to the editor in her local newspaper that she asked her sister, who now lives in Virginia, to visit our third-graders. Elizabeth Foster came to Langley last week to share her experiences growing up in Idaho, her favorite things about the state, and some Idaho souvenirs.

As our third-graders continue to study the 50 states – a unit that will culminate with a State Fair in which students will display facts about the state they researched – they will have a more in-depth understanding of our country thanks to the tremendous response of its citizens.

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Tickets are now on sale for Langley's Middle School spring musical, "Beauty and the Beast Jr.," which runs Thursday, April 12 – Saturday, April 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the school's Sherman Arts Center.

Ticket & Seating Information

Purchasing Tickets Online: Tickets are $12 per person. Visit http://www.ticketpeak.com/langley to purchase your tickets now. Select the performance and choose your specific seats. After you fill out your personal and credit card information, you will be prompted to print your tickets. You will also be e-mailed a confirmation of your purchase with the link to print your tickets. You must print and bring your tickets with you to the performance in order to be admitted. Contact svipperman@langleyschool.org with questions about purchasing tickets online.

Purchasing Tickets at the Door: Due to the popularity of Langley's performances, we highly recommend you purchase tickets online in advance. If available, remaining tickets will be sold for $12 each at the box office in the Sherman Arts Center Café for cash payments only beginning 30 minutes prior to show time.

If tickets are sold out online, we recommend coming to the box office in the Sherman Arts Center Café starting at 6:00 p.m. on the night of the show, as we do offer late-comer seating. Please note:

-You must show up in person to put your name on the wait list (no phone calls or e-mails).
-You may miss the first part of the show.
-We will do our best to seat you with the rest of your party, but we cannot guarantee it.
-We will accept cash payments only at the box office.
-Due to fire code regulations, no one may sit on the floor.

Seating: All seating in Langley's Sherman Arts Center auditorium is reserved. You will select your specific row and seat number at the time of your ticket purchase. Doors to the auditorium will open 30 minutes prior to show time. If you purchased your tickets online in advance, you must print them out and bring them with you in order to be admitted to the show.

About the Show

Based on the award-winning Disney animated film and stage play, this "tale as old as time" is a classic story of transformation and tolerance featuring Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self.

The show includes favorite songs, including "Be Our Guest" and "Beauty and the Beast," along with several new songs and underscoring by Langley's pit orchestra. Thirteen musical numbers, lots of dancing, stunning handmade costumes, and beautiful scenery designed and painted by our Advanced Art elective students make this a not-to-be-missed production.

To help our student actors hone their roles, Langley brought in a professional stage combat coach to instruct them on how to portray fighting on stage. Students also learned to sing in vocal harmonies, explored how to move like inanimate objects to portray the servants in the castle, and perfected several new dance moves, including the waltz.

More than 60 cast, crew, and pit members in grades 6-8 are involved in the spring musical. As with all of Langley's Middle School productions, this show is student-run, with students working on props, makeup, or hair, assisting with sound and lighting, and handling backstage operations.

Langley's production of "Beauty and the Beast Jr." runs less than two hours and includes a short intermission. Please note that, as in the animated film, this production contains some violence that may not be appropriate for all ages.

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As part of The Langley School's culture of giving, commitment to service learning, and 75th anniversary celebration, the school community came together for Langley's first-ever Day of Giving on Saturday, March 17 to pack 75,000 meals for the people of Puerto Rico who were impacted by Hurricane Maria.

In partnership with the Outreach Program, a nonprofit that organizes food-packing events to support those in need at home and abroad, The Langley School mobilized more than 500 volunteers – including students, parents, teachers, alumni, and friends – to pack meals in one-hour shifts. To cover the cost of each 25-cent meal, the school raised $18,750 from its families and several sponsors. Langley students in preschool through eighth grade contributed to this effort as well, raising more than $6,400 in quarter collections to pay for more than 25,000 meals.

"This is the first time we have organized a school-wide service project of this magnitude," says Head of School Dr. Elinor Scully, noting that the project was a community effort led by parent volunteers. "The event was a wonderful opportunity for us to make an impact, while also bringing past and present members of our community together for a meaningful, shared experience."

The Langley School's Day of Giving meal-packing was the culminating event of its inaugural Week of Giving which ran March 12-16. Throughout the week, the Langley community collected items for five student-led donation drives. Students in grades 3-8 submitted proposals for donation drive projects, and five winning proposals were selected benefiting a range of organizations, including SHARE of McLean, Stanton Elementary, Doorways for Women & Families, A Wider Circle, and Wishing You Lots of Love. Students coordinated each drive and developed publicity plans to collect baby products, children's books, school supplies, toiletries, nonperishable foods, and more for those in need.

"We wanted to give our students an opportunity to take on a leadership role with these projects," says Dean of Students Brent Locke. "They not only learned the importance of giving back, but also gained valuable skills as they wrote proposals, organized each drive, and came up with advertising strategies to promote their project."

View TV news coverage of the Day of Giving>>

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