Earth Day and the Mile Run

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On Friday, April 24th, the entire school participated in the annual mile run and Earth Day activities. The mile run has been a tradition for a long time at North Branch. Students from nursery to middle school spend several weeks training. They run in several different age groups – younger students run/walk around the field, and older students run on the country road near the school. There were many Earth Day activities going on as well – everything from art projects to tree planting to special songs. We also had a visit from the Wintergreen Nature Foundation staff – they brought a bear skin and a king snake for students to examine.

Relay for Life

On Friday, North Branch School participated in the annual all-school mini Relay for Life to help raise money for cancer research. The school raised $785.72 for The American Cancer Society and presented the funds to our local representative. Thanks to our organizer, Robyn Ebelherr, to Nelson County Relay for Life, and to everyone who participated.

Summer Camp Opportunities at NBS!

Contact the person listed for more information or to register.           

June 8 – 12             Carpentry with Jeanine and Judy                         9:30 am – 3:30 pm

This camp will offer a 2-hour focus on woodworking under the direction of experienced carpenter and educator Judy Cahill. Children will choose a building project and work at small workbenches using hand tools. When not woodworking, campers will engage in a variety of age-appropriate games, art, music, food preparation and outdoor play.  Only a few spots left! (Limited to 9 campers)   $175 for week.     Contact Jeanine at      


June 8 – 12              Drums for Fun with Stuart                                   9 am – 12 pm

Students will learn the drumming rudiments and study the history of drums and drumming.  Plan to play a lot, focusing on reading, dynamics, tempo, playing musically, and having fun!  For grades 5 – 12 (ages 11 – 18); limited to 8 people.    $100 for week —  Students will need to bring their own snare drum or pad, stand, and sticks.    Contact Stuart Gunter at .


June 22 – 26             Art Camp! with Michael Donegan                          9 am – 3 pm

Painting, sculpture, bookmaking, clay, ink printing, drawing, collage, papermaking, and more in this perennial favorite.  Snack included. For ages 5 – 12.  $175 for week.   Contact Michael at 434-826-8384


June 29 – July 3    “Roads, Ramps, and Rockets!” Math Camp with Katrien   9 am – 12 pm      

Explore special qualities of right triangles with Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry, in a fun, hands-on way. For rising 6th – 8th graders.                                                                                                                           $100 for week       Contact Katrien at


June 29 – July 3      Bootstrap Computer Coding Camp with Katrien       12:30 – 3:30 pm  Students will use Algebraic concepts and Racket code to create a simple video game.  For rising 6th – 8th graders. No experience necessary.   $100 for week   ($175 for the math and coding camps together)


July 6 – 10               Art Camp! with Michael Donegan                                9 am – 3 pm                  (See description under June 22 – 26 Art Camp.)


July 13 – 17             Art Camp! with Michael Donegan                                 9 am – 3 pm                  (See description under June 22 – 26 Art Camp.)


July 20 – 24           Drama Camp with Aspen Miller                                                                                   9 am – 3 pm M – F, 12 – 6 Sat., Showcase 6 pm Sat.                                                                          Campers will prepare and perform several modernized fairy tales, funny and dark, with parts as large or small as each camper is comfortable with. NBS alum Aspen Miller will share his training in comedy, stage fighting, and ensemble building. Fun will be had by all!  For ages 8 – 14.  $175 for week.  Contact Aspen Miller at .


July 27 – July 31     “What Are The Chances?” Math Camp with Katrien          9 am – 12 pm Explore probability – fractions, ratios, decimals, and percentages — through games in a fun, hands-on way. For rising 6th – 8th graders.   $100 for week.  Contact Katrien at


July 27 – July 31      Bootstrap Computer Coding Camp with Katrien       12:30 – 3:30 pm    (See description under June 29 – July 3 Bootstrap Camp.)


August 3 – 5       Algebra review for rising 9th graders taking the SOL in high school                  9 am – 12 pm, Mon – Wed only     No charge for NBS grads; others welcome for $30.                      Contact Katrien at


August 10 – 14     Drama Camp with Aspen Miller                                                                                      9 am – 3 pm M – F, 12 – 6 Sat., Showcase 6 pm Sat                                                                                NBS Alum Aspen Miller will help campers prepare and perform scenes from Shakespeare — beautiful poetry, goofy comedy, stage fighting, and everything in between.  For ages 8 – 14.                                               $175 for week.   Contact Aspen Miller at .


Mini Relay for Life in support of the Nelson Relay for Life, April 17

Schedule for the Day:

9:00-9:45 – regular class schedule
9:45 Opening Ceremony
10:00-10:20Primary I (20 minutes)
10:20-10:40 Primary II (20 minutes)
10:40-11:05Juniors (25 minutes)
11:05-11:20 Early Primary (15 minutes)
11:20-11:30 Nursery (10 minutes)
11:30-1:00 Parents and students who would like to walk during recess (90 min. -walk all or a portion)
1:00 – 1:40 Seniors (40 minutes)
1:40 – 2:30 Middle school (50 minutes)
2:30-3:00 All school closing ceremony/assembly time
3:45 – 6:00 Mini Golf Fundraiser in support of the Middle Schoolers’ trip to the Chesapeake Bay

Bill Staines in Concert at NBS – Friday, April 10

Folk legend, Bill Staines, will perform at 7:30 PM on Friday, April 10, at North Branch School, with special guest, Nathaniel Marion ’13.staines300dpi  Join Bill for a potluck supper, before the concert, starting at 6:00 PM.  Please bring a main dish, side or salad; desserts and coffee will be available for a donation during the concert.  TIckets are available at the door or may be purchased in advance at North Branch School in Afton, Greenberry’s Coffee at Barracks Road in Charlottesville, or Newtown Baking in Staunton.  Call 540-456-8450 for more information.

Mutually Assured Destruction

The Middle School put on their spring play yesterday at Rapunzel’s in Lovingston. “Mutually Assured Destruction,” by Don Zolidis, was in 10 acts. Each scene, going back in time from 2015 to 1922, featured a sibling pair. It was hysterical and well-acted – congratulations to the cast and their directors! I will be working on a video, and will post it over spring break. Here are some pictures from yesterday:

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A little something for everyone

Last Friday’s assembly offered a variety of participants sharing their talents with the audience. Jon and two of his students improvised a little music for the rest of the budding musicians to see where their musical abilities might take them. Then the Juniors recited penguin poetry which provided a fun way to learn a whole lot. There was even some Irish step dancing in anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy!

The Middle School goes to the Science Fair

7th and 8th grade students, along with Margaret and Jennifer, are at the Virginia Piedmont Regional Science Fair today. The fair is being held at John Paul Jones arena in Charlottesville. Students have been working on their experiments and displays for months. Yesterday, they showed them in the Big Room to the 5th and 6th grade and some of the teachers.

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The band’s debut

The last Friday of the shortest month had no shortage of music. Kat and the Middle Schoolers played “La Morisque” on recorder, a lively dance dating back to the Renaissance. Then Jon and the band introduced the audience to a whole bunch of new instruments that they’ve been learning and practicing on for the past two months, from the woodwinds and horns to bass guitar and percussion.

The Middle School goes to Model U.N.

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Katrien’s Middle School class participated in Model U.N. in Williamsburg last weekend. The 7th and 8th graders spent several weeks writing their position papers and practicing their speeches. Their trip also included stops in Yorktown and Jamestown.

What is Model U.N.? From Wikipedia: “Model United Nations is an educational simulation and academic competition in which students learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations. MUN involves and teaches research, public speaking, debating, and writing skills, in addition to critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities. Participants in Model UN conferences, referred to as delegates, are placed in committees and assigned countries, or occasionally other organizations or political figures, to represent. They are presented with their assignments in advance, along with a topic or topics that their committee will discuss. Delegates conduct research before conferences and formulate positions that they will then debate with their fellow delegates in committee.”