Scituate is the New Brooklyn

15_fac_jusle_j-4405I come from the land of Breukelen. A land far, far away from here. Some of you might know it as Brooklyn. I was born of Haitian immigrants and raised in Brooklyn, NY. I grew up around an array of dialects, inflections and rhythms. It was necessary for survival to decipher sound and I was good at it. Sound and language was an inherent aptitude of mine and not only was I good at understanding it with very little context, but I could code switch with ease. It was no credit of my own. It was the gift Brooklyn gave me. I was adorned with a gift to make people feel at ease with the sound of my voice. As a six-year-old, black kid in the BK, I felt immense power in that. There wasn’t much self-empowerment to be found lying around on the streets of East New York, but I had my voice. I often sat with my parents at the dinner table and listened to the way conversation flowed in and out of Creole, French and English, while Brazil played Mexico in a game of futbol on Telemundo in the background. I lived in a symphony of cultural sounds, but my father was the great noisemaker of the family. I could always find him dancing around while imitating a brass sound instrument while listening to the radio, or misusing an American idiom. Outside the house were voices from Puerto Rico that boomed from their diaphragms like cannon-fire. There were Dominican voices that lingered on diphthongs with a kind of driving determination. Voices from Ireland, Sudan, Italy, Guatemala, India, Jamaica and countless more. I had been around so many different ways of communicating.

Middle school was the first time I had been anywhere that wasn’t mostly people of color. My proclivity for sound and music coupled with exposure to a myriad of cultures made code switching easy for me, so I had a diverse group of friends and with adolescence in my veins I was drawn to friends of the female persuasion. Rita was Italian with wavy, dark hair and honey colored eyes. She was FLY! And I had accomplished the ultimate goal, I got her phone number AND her AOL Instant Messenger screen-name.  After a few days of my courting her via coiled phone cord, she began to like me enough to start calling me first.

“Jay! Rita is on the phone,” my father shouted.  I strutted down the stairs and approached the phone with a king’s appeal. “Was that your dad?” said my queen. “Yea.” “He’s got a cool accent!” It never occurred to me that my father spoke differently or had an accent. To me, he spoke like my father. Everyone spoke the way he spoke. “No, he doesn’t,” I snapped. “Yea, he does! It’s cool.” “Whatever,” I said with disdain. I was protective of it and protective of my father. So much so that I was turning my back on adolescent love for his good name. My experience with the sound of my father’s speech was quite different, I couldn’t hear his difference because it sounded like home to me. I was, in my naivete, bothered by the idea of my father being other. As far as I knew he was the best man I had ever known. He was not ‘other’, he was it.

I have now come to realize the tremendous gift he gave me by raising me in the cultural smorgasbord that is Brooklyn. He gave me the gift to navigate through all kinds of social circles with little turbulence. The gift to have experience and meet people from what and whom I may have been barred by means of my ‘blackness’ or socio-economic status. In a world that sometimes seems chock full of extremes rather than reason, my hope is to give the gift of Brooklyn to my students. Where, in a sea of homogenous faces, our kids can look difference in the eye with good judgement and esteemed curiosity. Together we strive to do a great work; to understand our neighbors and provide space for them to engage in our community as their truest selves. I am so grateful to be given to opportunity for my desk to become a pit stop for students, teachers and parents. With some elbow grease and hard reflection we can make Scituate a little more like Brooklyn😉.

As a school we have decided to tackle race on our agenda for conversation. I’ve included a short but helpful article for parents. “6 Ways Parents Can Teach Their Kids About Race and Diversity.”

Jimmy Juste is Inly School’s Director of the Office of Inclusion and advises the school on programmatic, personnel, and community topics on diversity and equity. Before joining Inly, Jimmy taught middle and high school students in the NYC public school system. He also taught poetry at the Waverly School of the Arts in Brooklyn, NY and performing arts at MCC Theater, CenterStage NY, Usher New Look Foundation and Hospital Audiences Inc. Jimmy has worked as a professional background singer for the likes of Amos Lee, Patti Labelle, Josh Groban, Pete Seeger, Judy Collins and St. Luke’s Orchestra. A teacher of many talents, Jimmy has a degree in theater and communications from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and is currently working on a degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Massachusetts.

Print and Digital Find the Perfect Home

A look inside the Grealish Family Pavilion (Part One)

Step inside Inly’s wondrous new addition and you’ll be captivated by the quiet buzz of creative energy that radiates from the studios, classrooms, learning spaces… and from within. Here the worlds of print and digital, words and pictures, information and imagination work in harmony to inspire innovative thinking on many different levels.

First you’ll see the da Vinci Studio, an innovation lab made up of maker spaces dedicated to robotics, digital design and tinkering of all kinds. Inside the Imagination Station at the center of it all, students can stare up to the twinkling ceiling of the new library on the second floor.


It’s no coincidence that the two main spaces are linked in such a direct way. The worlds of print and technology have always worked together in thoughtful, meaningful ways at Inly.

“I have to say I feel really good about the prominence of the library in the new building,” says Head Librarian Shelley Sommer. “I feel that it really honors the role of reading. And the fact that we give equal space to both books and technology makes an important statement.”

Kelley Huxtable, Technology Integrationist, puts it this way: “These new spaces are all about ideas. They’re about making and sharing things and ideas and experiences. When you get to make something yourself, you’re completely engaged and you really own it. And that’s what really drives learning.”

Read more about the new building here:

New Innovation Hub Officially Unveiled at Inly School



Recent College Graduation News from the Inly Class of 2007

We were able to track down a few of our Inly Middle School alumni from the Class of 2007 and collect some recent college graduation news.

Detwiler_LiamLiam Detwiler (Inly ’07; Boston College High School ’11) graduated phi beta kappa from Georgetown University with a major in English and a double minor in history and sociology. He spent most of his time working on campus for the nation’s largest student-run credit union, where he became an executive of the operations department and helped manage over 17 million dollars in assets. He also helped to found a chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon on campus, was a part of the Georgetown student government, was the treasurer of a speechwriting club, and studied abroad at Trinity College in Dublin during his fall semester of junior year where he continued his love of travel by visiting 12 countries. Following graduation, Liam took a job as an internal, human capital consultant for Capital One where he will be working in Arlington, VA.

Johnson_LucyLucy Johnson (Inly ’07; Dana Hall School ’11) graduated from Wheaton College this May.  She was a studio art major with a concentration in sculpture and an ethnomusicology minor.  She sang in Voices United to Jam, the gospel and R & B singing group on campus (for which she was also the secretary); played steel drums in the Lymin Lyons steel drum band; and danced in Paraiso Latino, the school’s Latin dance group.  This summer she is interning at CATA (Community Access to the Arts), a non-profit arts organization in Great Barrington that offers music, dance and art workshops for people with special needs. She is also interning at Riverbrook, a residence for women with special needs in Stockbridge. In the fall Lucy hopes to move to Boston where she would like to work for an arts organization and/or work with the special needs population.

KaplanHartlaub_HannahHannah Kaplan-Hartlaub (Inly ’07; Commonwealth Academy ’11) just graduated from Smith College with a BA in Spanish and the sociology of education. She spent four years rowing for the Varsity Crew Team and dabbled in social justice organizing. She is spending the summer working at the Lucky Finn Cafe (go say hi!) and preparing to head off to Spain on a Fulbright English Teaching Fellowship in September.

MikeMike Kaplan-Hartlaub (Inly ’07; Cape Cod Academy ’11) recently graduated from Wheaton College with a major in psychology. While at Wheaton he joined the Best Buddies chapter and worked with children with developmental disabilities. Mike now works as a behavioral therapist at a psychological consulting firm called Applied Behavioral Analysis Consulting and Services (ABACS) that evaluates and provides treatment for children ages 4–18 with Autism Spectrum Disorder, in addition to other social and behavioral disorders.

Kelly_PaulPaul Kelly (Inly ’07; Boston College High School ’11) graduated from the College of the Holy Cross with a dual degree in political science and philosophy. He was inducted into the national Phi Sigma Tau honor society for the latter. During his last two years, he served as elected community organizer for Student Programs for Urban Development and staffed four political campaigns for the Massachusetts Democratic Party. He graduates having written a thesis on presidential administration of executive agencies and a capstone on the discursive structures surrounding the Affordable Care Act debate. He is currently working on submitting a paper on Heidegger’s existential analytic for review through Phi Sigma Tau.

Laiosa_RachelRachel Laiosa  (Inly ’07; Notre Dame Academy ’11) graduated from Providence College with two BA degrees, one in English and one in history. She is currently taking some time to catch up and travel before delving into her career path.

Noble_BrettBrett Noble (Inly ’07; Northwood School ’11) graduated from Husson University with a bachelor’s in criminal justice and a minor in business. In his junior year as part of the environmental club, Brett lobbied the school board for a solar farm on campus. The proposal was accepted and will be built by 2025. For his senior year capstone, Brett and four other students wrote legislation regarding drone regulation that is now being looked at by the Maine House of Representatives.

Ovans_ZoeZoe Ovans (Inly ’07; Commonwealth Academy ’11) graduated phi beta kappa from Johns Hopkins University with a double major in English literature and cognitive science. She’s still in Baltimore now working as the manager of the Johns Hopkins Laboratory for Language Processing and Development.

Phillips_JeremyJeremy Phillips (Inly ’07; St. George’s School ’11) graduated from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN in May with a dual degree in business and economics. Throughout his college career, Jeremy excelled in indoor and outdoor track and field. He was named Male Student-Athlete in the Southern Athletic Association several times and led his team to conference championships in 2013 and 2014. He broke two school records in the 100-meter dash and the 4×100 relay and qualified for the Division III NCAA National Championships in 2014 and 2015. []

Jeremy is also an active member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, participated in overseas studies in Belgium, and interned in business and finance in Memphis and New York City. Jeremy will be participating in the client services internship program with Deloitte in Memphis this summer and will be returning to Rhodes in the fall to begin a graduate program in accounting.

Silver_LindsayLindsay Silver (Inly ’07; Boston University Academy ’11) graduated cum laude from Haverford College with a major in English, and minors in computer science and Spanish. Her senior thesis was titled “The Ocean’s Indifference: Confronting Death in the Natural Landscape of Thoreau’s Cape Cod.” She is currently working at Haverford as a summer intern designing a website for the Haverford Library.

Inly Alums Return for High School Senior Internship

Tucker and Chris address the 8th grade students about life after Middle School.

Tucker Meehan and Chris Ribaudo address the 8th grade students about life after Middle School.

Inly alums, Tucker Meehan ‘11 and Chris Ribaudo ‘11, both seniors at Thayer Academy, are spending 3 weeks at Inly School as part of their final high school internship experience. During their time on campus, they have worked with students at all levels, but most extensively with the students in Upper Elementary.

“Our first thought in returning to Inly was honestly, ‘wow, everything seems to much smaller!’” Chris remarked. “It’s also interesting to see things through a different, older lens now. The faculty members feel more like peers and it makes you realize how cool they are.”

“You also see how purposeful the programming is,” said Tucker. “You can see that it’s a long process from start to finish and that each child is constantly building on his own knowledge throughout that process.”

“I’ve also noticed that seeing all of the classroom materials again has sparked so many memories for me,” said Chris. “And it’s amazing how all of the lessons come back, too.”

Tucker will be attending Colby College in the fall and hopes to study Economics and/or Biology. Chris will be attending Northeastern University and plans to pursue Chemical Engineering. The two also spoke to Inly’s 8th grade class about what to expect in high school, how the transition can feel, and anticipating the change in workload, sports, and other student activities. “Inly teaches you because it prepares you,” Tucker states. “I don’t think any Middle School has a class called “Independent Thinking” but that’s exactly what you take away from your time at Inly. And you can apply that to anything going forward.”

The Importance of Creativity and Innovation in Schools

by Donna Milani Luther

8th Grade students tinkering at NuVu

8th Grade students tinkering at NuVu Studio

Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build the youth for our future.” This is the imperative for schools in this century.

There is a great deal of buzz in the world of education right now about creativity and innovation and why these skills should be incorporated more into K–8 school curricula to build for the future. We are preparing students of today for the jobs of tomorrow—jobs that don’t exist yet, in fields that will be created to meet the demands of an ever-changing world. And yet many schools are still using what Sir Ken Robinson describes as the “industrial age factory model” for education, which doesn’t meet the growing demand for creativity and innovation.

Interestingly, a number of schools are adopting a more Montessori-inspired classroom model to help meet this demand. The AltSchool in California, for example, founded by a former Google engineer, is described as “Montessori 2.0” with a strong focus on technology. Closer to home, a former MIT graduate, Saeed Arida, created NuVu “The Innovation School,” a full-time magnet innovation school in Cambridge. At NuVu, students learn in a hands-on environment with coaches who help guide the creative process, from inception to completion. NuVu’s pedagogy is based on the architectural studio model and geared around multi-disciplinary, collaborative design projects. Within each multidisciplinary Studio, students explore problems rigorously by focusing on one project for two weeks. A Studio Coach mentors students to develop their project through an iterative process over the course of the Studio. Students confront the small and large contexts within problems as they are exposed to complex, ‘messy’ situations. The NuVu Team continuously evaluates students through deskcrits and final reviews.

I am proud to say that our 8th grade students, for the second year in a row, have spent two weeks at NuVu. This spring, our students were assigned a project called  “Wheelchair Hacks” and asked to come up with creative modifications to wheelchairs. To see their clever creations, you can click here. Final projects included everything from a wheel-cleaning device to a height adjusting chair. It was exciting to see our students come up with clever modifications and explain how their process worked from beginning to end. They all hit road blocks but, like in real-life, figured out ways around them to get to their end goal.

AltSchool and Nuvu are just two examples of how education is coming around to the century old forward-thinking of Dr. Maria Montessori who took what had been in education and imagined what could be. Today at Inly, in the tradition of Montessori, we are imagining what can be in the world of education because we fundamentally believe in the power and potential of children. This is why we want to ensure our school environment fosters their capabilities, creativity, and innate desire to learn and explore.

As many of you already know, Inly is currently planning to build an innovation lab, reimagined library, and six new classroom spaces next year. The innovation lab will be known as the “DaVinci Studio” and will be a central location for our robotics, 3D printing, digital video creation, and tinkering projects. Along with these offerings, the DaVinci Studio will have an idea space, which will have whiteboards on the walls and surfaces for students to imagine, draw, and plan. I believe this space will allow our students to expand and grow in new and exciting ways.

Creativity and innovation should be at the core of a curriculum and instrumental to the way children learn. Paramount to the continued success of schools is ensuring that learning spaces mirror the collaborative work spaces of the real world and enable students to problem-solve, think differently, and challenge the status quo. The authors of The Third Teacher put it succinctly when they said we should “design learning environments and use design thinking to strategize cultural, pedagogical, and organizational change.”

At Inly, our new building project will enable us to accomplish both things that Roosevelt charged educators to do: ‘‘build a future for our youth and build youth for our future.”

Experiential Learning at Inly: Learning By Doing

By Julie Kelly-Detwiler, Assistant Head of School

Education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words but by experiences upon the environment.” —Maria Montessori

As I walked through campus this week and felt the energy of our students and their drive to be outdoors in what has suddenly become summer, I am reminded anew of how fortunate we – and they – are to be in a school that values experiential learning.

Experiential learning (“learning by doing” or “hands-on learning”) permeates every part of the Inly curriculum at all levels. It is an approach to education that actively engages students in relevant, authentic experiences that reinforce academic lessons or teach life skills. These hands-on experiences deepen a student’s understanding and have a lasting impact. Through experiential learning, students make discoveries and experiment with knowledge on their own instead of relying solely on the experiences of others.

EllynAt Inly, we refer to experiential learning that happens outside of the classroom as “field studies,” and this is exactly how we approach and think about them. Our field studies are integrated thoughtfully into what our students are learning in the classrooms, and naturally extends their learning out into the world. And because we thoughtfully plan our year to move with and productively harness our students’ energies and passions, you will see our students outside as much as possible at this time in the year. You might see them gardening, conducting science experiments or treasure hunts, exploring the new trails on Sunflower Hill, or engaged in group initiatives on the low ropes course. You might also see the volunteer parent drivers and buses in the parking lot, prepared to take our students off campus for service learning or rowing, or to explore Boston, a museum, or an ethnic market.  At this time of year, you might also see a group of 8th grade students at the Greenbush train coming home from the MIT technology studio, NuVu, in Cambridge or some 7th grade students dressed in business casual outfits, about to set off for a day at their internship site. And soon, you’ll see our 3rd through 8th graders carrying duffel bags as they set off for their end of year excursions.

There is a natural and carefully considered progression to these experiences as our students mature. But each experience, from the very beginning, requires a sense of responsibility and independence. In this stretching of themselves, they become more independent, more self-reliant, more confident and more capable. This learning carries back into the classroom and into their lives.

This Year in Inly Sports!

Photo courtesy of Matt West

Photo courtesy of Matt West

Over the past two years, Inly’s athletics have really amped up, thanks in large part to Jabari Scutchins, Head Coach and Director of Inly Athletics. Jabari has worked hard to recruit more students to play Inly sports, increasing participation by 10%. In addition, he and other members of the Inly community including parents, faculty, and staff, have offered their athletic talents to coach new sport programs like Flag Football, Cross-Country, and Floor Hockey. Jabari also lobbied for Inly School to become the first Montessori school to join NEPSAC, the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council. Now, each athletic season includes games against schools in the MAC (Montessori Athletic Conference) as well as NEPSAC conferences. In addition, with the generous help from Inly parents, Andrew Sullivan and John D’Allessandro, Inly has also expanded the upper athletic field to make it a regulation-size soccer field. A new fence, donated by Mike and Stacey Grealish, will also help keep the balls in play in the coming seasons.

As a result of these collective efforts, Inly is establishing a strong foundation in athletics. As Inly’s athletic programs grow, it is our hope that our students continue to learn about teamwork, respect, competition, and many other valuable life lessons. It is also our hope that our participation in NEPSAC not only complements but enhances our existing athletic programming and gives students who crave additional competition the chance to challenge themselves.

Below you will find a few highlights from “THIS YEAR IN SPORTS.”


Inly’s soccer team

Inly Soccer:

Inly’s soccer team had more than just fancy official team uniforms to add to their resume this year. They also had a great season. Most notably, one player scored a record 7 goals in a single home game.

Inly Basketball:

Flag football fall practice

Flag football fall practice

With the record snowfall this winter, Inly’s basketball season was brief but still exciting. Player highlights included 20 points scored in a single home game, 14 rebounds in one a single away game, and 10 assists in a single away game.

Flag Football:

Flag football has had two very exciting fall and spring seasons this year at the South Shore YMCA. This spring, there is a 7–9 team and a 10–13 team. Inly is proudly one of the most co-ed teams in the league and both male and female players alike have been dominating the field with touchdowns, tackles, and sacks.


Inly runners at their first meet vs. Kingsley Montessori

Inly runners at their first meet vs. Kingsley Montessori

Inly cross-country has been logging miles and crossing milestones over the past few seasons. They had their first meet against Kingsley Montessori in April along the Charles River Esplanade. In addition, students have been competing in local 5K’s on the weekends, some event earning top spots in the kids divisions. The Cross-Country team would also like to extend a special thanks to the After School Project “Juice Bar” for making them delicious juice creations for some post-run fuel!