HOS Blog: Greeting Students at the Door

By Christos J KolovosSeptember 20th, 2021in Homepage News, HOS Blog

I begin most days standing outside the front doors of the schoolhouse greeting students. Some are just getting off the train, some emerging from their parents’ cars, others hopping off bikes or skateboards. Everybody gets a “good morning,” and sometimes students pause for a little conversation — a chance for a student to tell me about a lab they did in chemistry the day before or for me to pat them on the back for some good hustle in the soccer game. Last week, one ninth grader looked at me and asked, “Did I do something wrong? Did I miss something? Why are you out here?” I smiled and assured him that everything was fine and that I greet students just to be friendly. His question did make me think, though, about the purpose behind the ritual. The truth is that I’ve seen others do it and have adopted it just... More

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Leaving Things Better than You Found Them (or The Grace in Picking Up Somebody Else’s Trash)

By margocoxSeptember 17th, 2021in BUA News and Stories, Homepage News

All-School Meeting Remarks on September 9, 2021 Chris Kolovos, Head of School Good morning. I find myself deeply moved at the sight of us gathered as a community like this. It feels like the first spring day after a winter that lasted far too long. All-School Meeting is a sacred time for me. It is a physical manifestation of -- in the language of our mission -- “our caring high-school community.” These meetings are a chance for us to share, celebrate, and laugh together in good times, to mourn and comfort one another in hard times. It is especially fitting that we gather in this space, which for its first sixty years served as Temple Israel. Today, we’ll start a tradition where I address the school at the start of each academic term. I hope to offer thoughts beyond the day-to-day. That tradition comes from my upbringing. When I was a boy, my head of... More

Class of 2021 College Matriculation List

As our most recent graduates pack up for college this week, we wish them the very best of luck on the next step of their journeys. The BUA Class of 2021 will attend the following institutions this fall:   Boston College Boston University (10) Brown University University of California at Berkeley University of California at San Diego Carnegie Mellon University University of Chicago (2) Columbia University Cornell University Dartmouth College Harvard University (3) Haverford College University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Indiana University, Bloomington Kenyon College Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2) McGill University New York University Northeastern University (6) Northwestern University (3) Occidental College University of Pennsylvania (2) University of Rochester University of Southern California Stanford University Tufts University (2) U.S. Air Force Academy University of Glasgow University of Washington, Seattle

BUA Hosts ‘Double-Header’ Commencements at Nickerson Field; Student Speaker Delivers Address in the Style of Amanda Gorman

BUA hosted back-to-back Commencement ceremonies on the morning of Saturday, June 5 at BU's Nickerson Field. The 52 graduates of the Class of 2021 walked across stage to receive their diplomas from Head of School Chris Kolovos. Immediately following, 38 members of the Class of 2020 returned to campus for the graduation ceremony that they never had; their original commencement in May of 2020 was canceled due to the pandemic. Nearly 500 guests in total joined for the masked and physically-distanced outdoor events. Boston University Associate Provost and Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore gave the Keynote Address for the Class of 2021 ceremony. In his address, Dean Elmore, paraphrasing Dr. Walter Fluker (who himself delivered the Keynote Address at BUA Commencement in 2018), remarked: "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go ahead and do it, because what the world needs is people... More

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BUA Senior Named Regeneron Scholar, Semifinalist in US Presidential Scholar’s Program

BUA senior Friedrich Liu '21 was named as a top 300 scholar in the 80th Regeneron Science Talent Search—the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and mathematics competition for high school seniors. A total of 1,760 students around the country entered the competition this year, which is owned and produced by Society for Science. In recognition of this achievement, Friedrich received a cash award of $2,000, and Boston University Academy also received $2,000 to use toward STEM-related activities. Friedrich was recognized for his research in Alzheimer's disease in conjunction with Beth Israel's Dynamical Biomarkers Lab, finding underlying patterns in patients with Alzheimer's disease through mathematical models. Using the Fourier transform and cluster analysis, Friedrich studied the brain signals of Alzheimer’s patients to explore the association between patients’ neuropsychiatric symptoms and their brain signals. Through his research, Friedrich found that behavioral and psychological symptoms were strongly correlated with EEG powers. He writes:... More

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HOS Blog: High School Seniors’ Search for Meaning

Seniors in May sometimes share with us that their parents start behaving particularly oddly. They tear up for no obvious reason, unearth baby pictures, tell stories about their senior’s elementary school years, or try to renew old family traditions like board game nights! Seniors are also processing the same looming transition. Some cling to home and comfort, watch movies from their childhood, and nest with their families. Others go in the other direction, developing what may feel to parents like an allergy to being at home. “I’m going to IHOP with my friends -- don’t wait up. Can I borrow the car?” They are investing in those relationships and friend groups that will never be quite the same after this summer. There’s also a deeper question many seniors are wrestling with in May: “What was this all for?”  They are realizing, some for the first time, that high school cannot have... More

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HOS Blog: School Will Go Back to Normal. And It Should Never Be the Same.

What will school look like next year? Will things go back to normal? What will be the new normal? I am proud of the way this community has managed the pandemic. Our commitment to maximizing in-person learning has been based on a fundamental belief that kids learn and grow best when they are able to build relationships with one another and their teachers. While you can try to do that through a screen, there is no substitute for human contact. These students and teachers have willingly, and often joyfully, accepted the restrictions this year has demanded. The fact that we’ve nearly finished the year having missed no days of school to COVID is a testament to them. And I have met nobody who wants to do it again. Our hope and intent for next year is to return to normal, with five days of in-person learning, seminar-style classroom setups, large community moments, robust performing arts, More

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HOS Blog: Catullus, Canterbury Tales, and the Beauty of Traditions

On Monday afternoon, the BUA community gathered -- some in the black box theater and many others on Zoom -- for one of this school’s great traditions. Twelve students from across the grades stood up in front of their peers to deliver Latin and Greek declamations, channeling Homer, Solon, Sophocles, Cicero, Catulus, Livy, Virgil, Ovid, and even Queen Elizabeth I (berating the Polish ambassador in 1597!). They spoke with poise, passion, skill, and more than a little bravery. The reaction of the audience impressed me nearly as much -- from the thunderous applause in the room for a student who fought through a passage that tried hard to evade her memory to the dozens of loving chat messages offering encouragement, praise, and heart emojis. And then, when the panel of judges stepped away to deliberate and choose the prize winners, another tradition reemerged to fill the time. Some juniors in... More

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Celebrating BUA’s Retiring Great Teachers

On April 29, over 200 BUA students, alumni/ae, current and past parents, faculty, and staff logged on to celebrate BUA's Retiring Great Teachers: Gordon Harvey, Liz Cellucci, and Rich Horn. It was an evening full of emotion and community feeling, as generations of BUAers came together to share memories and honor these three teachers, and to wish them well in their next adventures. In case you missed it -- or if you want to watch again! -- the complete recording of the event is available here.

Head of School Blog – Senior Thesis: Purpose-Driven Inquiry

Over the past several weeks, our seniors have shared their Senior Thesis presentations — a beautiful showcase of their year-long efforts conducting research and writing an original piece of scholarship in an area of passion. Students work on those projects in partnership with a BUA faculty mentor and an outside expert: very often a BU professor, but sometimes another researcher or scholar in the field. The range of topics this year reflects the breadth of our students’ interests. Many dive deep into an area of scientific inquiry, often conducting research in labs around the area, and sometimes publishing their work in peer-reviewed journals. I heard presentations on using machine learning to improve genetic data analysis and health outcomes; applying lessons from tuna fins to increase maneuverability of large ships; and programming satellites to detect micro-plastic ocean pollution. I heard from students who explored topics in the humanities and social sciences:... More

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