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Beginner skiers
Christopher Kasker

Our 3rd through 9th graders took-on challenges outside of the classroom yesterday as we kicked-off the 2019 ski program Mt Peter Ski Area, yesterday.

skiers coming down a slope

Skiers and snowboarders from third through ninth grade and from all skill levels hit the slopes for TPS's first ski day.

Tuxedo Park School students learn to conquer the local slopes during weekly ski days designed for them to learn a new athletic skill, overcome challenges, work as a coach, and enjoy comraderie in addition to friendly competition. 
The idea of weekly ski days began in the winter of 1963 under Headmaster John A. Shepard. During that first season, only a few students knew how to ski and found that skiing was not an easy sport to learn. They recognized that it took stamina and patience, as well as dedication and commitment to practice. 
After that first winter term on the slopes, many of the students who had never skied gained significant skill and looked forward to Thursday afternoons on the trails. After a few seasons, skiing became quite competitive among the student body and was the new favorite sport during the winter term.  In 1968 a prize bowl competition was started, which continues to this day.  
The program looks very similar to how it looked a half century ago.  Although it started on Tuxedo Ridge, now the skiers tackle the trails at Mt. Peter.
Starting in January each year, third through ninth-grade students enjoy the tradition of this weekly ski day. Students follow a half-day academic schedule and then head to Mt. Peter for an afternoon filled with skiing and snowboarding. Students are split into groups based by experience levels, working together and individually to master their skills on the slopes. 
The ski program is more than just an enjoyable addition to the winter athletics program. Students begin their afternoons taking lessons from Mt. Peter ski instructors, working on individual skills, and pairing off with ski buddies, giving everyone the opportunity to work and play together. 
The ski program concludes in February with Ski Race Day. During race day, students race for their team, Green or Gold.  The Green and Gold competition is an annual competition made up of several contests that take place from September to May. Students from third through ninth grade are permanently a member of either green or gold. Team members earn points for their artistic, academic, and athletic achievements in such contests as weekly trivia, geography bee, spelling bee, history bowl, Earth Day poetry contest, field day, and of course Ski Race Day.
The winner of race day is awarded the Jake Shepard Ski Bowl and the points are added to their team for the annual competition. Parents, faculty, and friends of TPS come together to cheer on students. Race day is a treasured community tradition.
The highlight of the season is the seventh to ninth-grade trip to Gore Mountain. This three-day, two-night trip allows for some team building activities and full-days on the mountain.
Our community is looking forward to seeing our children developing important skills on the slopes this year.  Here’s to a great winter.  Think snow!

geo bee thumbnail winner
Christopher Kasker

Congratulations to eighth-grader Max Neal for winning the TPS Geography Bee and the Louis M. Ogden Memorial Cup.

Geography Bee Winner

Congratulations to eighth-grader Max Neal for winning the TPS Geography Bee and the Louis M. Ogden Memorial Cup.

For the win, Max correctly answered: National Geographic Explorer Ricardo Moreno studies jaguars and human-jaguar conflict in places like Darien National Park, the largest national park in which Central American country?  His answer was Panama.

Students on the Green and Gold teams took a qualifying test to vie for a place at today's competition. The Gold team totaled the most correct answers and received 25 points for the annual Green and Gold competition. The top students in each grade earned two points for their team (2 points for Green, 10 points for Gold). Max earned 5 more points for the Green team for winning the Bee.

As of today, Dec. 14, 2019, the total score is Green 114, Gold 196.

In 1957 the Louis M. Ogden Memorial Cup was awarded for excellence in geography. Mr. & Mrs. Ogden, in whose memory the cup was created, lived in Tuxedo Park for many years. They were world travelers and loved to tell of their adventures. – excerpt from Tuxedo Park School by Vera G. Brigham.


Student engage during field trip
Christopher Kasker

A recent visit to a local design studio was a great success in showing students the many different ways that science and technology are used in careers today. 

Student engage during field trip

Eighth grade spent quality time at the Guidecraft Design Studio in Tuxedo, New York, on Nov. 30.  Guidecraft specializes in system-based STEM toys and furniture.  

Many of their products are rooted in geometry and natural science, and build a sense of math through experiential play. The students got a sense of what a fun place it was to work as soon as they walked through the door.  The main office area had a very open format, with a large table full of wooden toys with rolling cars and ramps that was impossible to resist interacting with.  One wall was covered with plants growing in wool pockets, showcasing a product they are developing.  Another wall was covered with sketches of educational STEM toys and layouts for classroom furniture that emphasized inspirational vs. contemporary vs. organic perspectives.  

The employees each presented themselves, describing their background and education and what their job was today in support of the company. One employee with a communications degree spent time on her cell phone blogging with clients, developing relationship and exposure for their products.  Another was trained as an engineer and was building 3D models of the furniture he was designing, trying to create a full-size model to test before going to production.  Another spent her day skyping with colleagues in Vietnam, China, and Thailand.
The group toured the many different spaces, rooms filled with tools and racks of odd-shaped objects, and another room with 3D printers, tables, and couches for collaboration with colleagues.  

The students checked out the photography studio where their photographer (who had a degree in physics) took pictures of children exploring their products that would be used to create packaging and brochures.  

TPS students got a sense of all the aspects involved in creating a product, from developing the idea that targets a particular educational purpose, to figuring out the material science needed to make it, and eventually how to create aesthetic packaging that will help it sell.  

With all this inspiration, the students were given a task of their own:  to sketch and then build a small model of a movable chair that could be used in an educational setting.  They broke off into working groups and came up with some excellent ideas and intriguing models of their own.  

The visit was a great success in showing students the many different ways that science and technology are used in careers today.  

Teacher running with students in PE.
Christopher Kasker

Academic rigor and achievement are important, but it is not sustainable without students of strong mind and body. Current research conveys the importance of physical and emotional wellbeing on brain development, self-control, and cognitive function.

Teacher running with students in PE.

Tuxedo Park School takes pride in developing the whole child, paying attention not just to academic success, but the components necessary to achieve that success with a healthy body and mindset. Various studies have proven different positive effects on brain function when children engage in high-volume exercise. Findings include improved long-term retention and improved executive functioning, which impacts student learning and success. Physical activity has been proven to result in better attention, increased on-task behaviors and improved academic performance. 

Physical Education
In an effort to ensure we design a well-rounded curriculum, we purposefully schedule physical activity throughout each student's school day. Preschool through fifth-grade students partake in physical education class 3-4 times a week. During these sessions they learn how their muscles function by way of isolating exercises, then how multiple muscles work together to form big movements such as jumping, running and pushups. Our teachers discuss health and the importance of a balanced lifestyle. They learn to cooperate with one another through a variety of games and are introduced to different sports in order to support students in discovering their interests. They spend this time developing self-control, self-awareness, and self-confidence.

All students attend recess for 30 minutes each day. During this time, we give students the freedom to creatively engage in physical activity and exploration with their peers through unstructured play, which researcher Sergio Pellis claims "plays a critical role in regulating emotions, making plans and solving problems."

Starting in sixth grade, and through ninth, students are required to participate in team athletics. Offerings include a wide variety of sports, such as, but not limited to: tennis, soccer, volleyball, field hockey, yoga, basketball, squash, and lacrosse. Students not only get an hour of intense physical activity, but our coaches also embed the importance of sportsmanship, team building, compromise, support and working towards a common goal.


More than just physical activity, this year we are redesigning our wellness program. While we will maintain aspects of the traditional health course that has been in place for decades, it is important to adjust to changing times and our new generation of youth.  Studies are showing children are feeling more stress and anxiety, and don't have the strategies to cope with those emotions.  Our wellness program will teach students how to self-assess their emotional state and they will learn skills such as goal-setting, organization, prioritization and meditation, to manage those sentiments.  The curriculum will also coach students on how to engage in healthy relationships, building communication habits that sustain those relationships.

Academic rigor and achievement are important, but it is not sustainable without students of strong mind and body. Current research conveys the importance of physical and emotional wellbeing on brain development, self-control, and cognitive function. It is our job to provide an environment and wholistic education that incorporates all imperative qualities to develop confident and successful citizens.

student sorting food items
Christopher Kasker

Tuxedo students came together on a service project that ensures students in need have healthy food options over the weekend and on holidays.


Students from the greater Tuxedo community came together on Tuesday for a service project to help provide healthy food options to local children.  

Tuxedo Park School eighth and ninth-graders met-up with George F. Baker High School eighth-grade students at the George Grant Mason School to unload, sort and store donated food items.  The food items were donated by Tuxedo Park School families during September.  In the joint effort, Baker and TPS students unloaded and neatly stocked the shelves of the elementary school pantry.

“Our students jumped at the opportunity to join forces with Baker High School students,” said Kate Vignola, service program coordinator, and TPS French teacher. “The whole school gets behind this food drive because they know how important it is that children to come to school on Monday focused on learning, not hunger.”

The Tuxedo Union Free School District provides the food items to local families who qualify for the reduced/free lunch program.  These food donations provide students with nutritious and easy-to-prepare food they need to get enough to eat on the weekend.  

Student sorts food items

“It’s community-based outreach between two schools that we hope to see continue to grow year after year,” said Diane Petrosky, former school board member, and longtime backpack program volunteer. “It’s amazing to see children helping children.”

Petrosky expects the donation made by Tuxedo Park School to last into December.  She will restock the supply as required by using fundraiser money conducted by other local organizations.

Ninth-grade student Piper Jenkins said, “I feel so fortunate to have the privilege of helping others while at TPS at the same time working with students from Tuxedo and getting to know them.”

During the school day on Fridays, eligible students are provided a backpack of food items to last them the weekend.  Hence the name, Backpack Program.

More about the Feeding America BackPack Program:
Twenty-two million children receive free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program and the National School Breakfast Program. For many of these children, school meals may be the only meals they eat. What happens when they go home over the weekend?

For more than 15 years, the Feeding America BackPack Program has been helping children get the nutritious and easy-to-prepare food they need to get enough to eat on the weekends. Today, bags of food are assembled at more than 160 local food banks and then distributed to more than 450,000 children at the end of the week.