This is a place that truly cultivates a love of learning in its community, celebrates each child's gifts, and offers loving guidance on things that need improvement. So thrilled to partner with such a special place."   ~Derby Parent, 2015

The Derby Community

For Derby parents, "back to school" takes on a whole new meaning. Derby is, above all else, a community - one that emphasizes the participation of students, staff, and parents. Whether you join a Pre-Kindergarten class for a cooking lesson, chaperone a Middle School class trip, or work behind the scenes at the Derby Fall Fair, you'll have ample opportunity to contribute to your child's learning environment, and to become a member of a unique community.

Throughout the school year, the Derby community has numerous parent-inclusive events. From September's Curriculum Nights, which allow you a glimpse at your child's new classroom and a chance to greet other parents, to June's Derby Day processional and the sweet closure it brings to the school year, you can participate in the full range of experience that Derby offers.

You may be surprised to find that your child's school community becomes an important part of your world, too.

Parent-Inclusive Events and Traditions

List of 11 items.

  • September >>

    New Parents and New Students - "Meet the Teachers" (all grades) - see calendar for times -- All new students and their hosts are invited to campus to meet their teachers.   

    First Chapel (Grades 1-8) -- A wonderful tradition that starts off the school year on the first day of the semester in Larson Hall. Grades 1-8 participate in First Chapel. The head of school will welcome the students to a new year by presenting a theme for the year, and will introduce the faculty. The dress code for this event is dresses or skirts for girls and jacket and tie for boys, for middle and lower school.  Your child may bring a change of clothes for the rest of the day. 

    Parents Association All-School Welcoming Coffee and Meeting -- This is the PA's first meeting of the year. After a brief coffee social, introductions are made and the agenda for the year begins! In addition, there will be an opportunity to see how parents may become involved in one or more events throughout the year. This event is also a great opportunity to meet some great parents. It generally runs for about an hour. For more information about the Parents Association, upcoming meetings and how to get involved, visit the PA home page. You must be logged into the Derby site to access the password protected portion of the PA pages. To visit the public PA page, click here.

    Back to School Night (Pre-K - Grade 3) -- This event is an excellent opportunity to meet in you child's classroom, hear about the curriculum for the year, acquaint yourself with other parents and sign up for class projects and snacks for the year. The evening usually begins in Larson Hall then breaks up into individual classrooms. If you have two children in the Lower School, then both parents may want to attend and split up into the specific classrooms. This event is sometimes referred to as "Curriculum Night."

    Secondary School Fair -- An event held in Derby's McKelvey Gym located in the lower level of the Roy Campus Center. It's a great opportunity to visit with a variety of day and boarding school representatives, and a convenient and casual way to introduce yourself and your child to the many schools and options available to them after Derby. The program operates as an open house so that you can arrive any time between 6:30 and 8:30pm and stay as long as you would like. The evening is open to the public and is very well attended. Generally, seventh and eighth graders get the most benefit from this evening. 

    School Pictures -- Class and individual photos are taken by a professional photography company. Neat attire and a comb or brush in your student's backpack may be useful. Colored tops tend to photograph better than white. This will take place outdoors, weather permitting, or indoors if there are inclement conditions. 

    Pot Luck Socials – These are a great tradition that allow for plenty of socializing and mingling with fellow parents in your grade(s). They are evening events for adults only, and will be organized by the grade reps in each grade. You will be notified of the dates at the beginning of the year. These are usually cocktail parties with heavy hors d’oeuvres or dinners hosted at someone’s home, and often done in “potluck” style. Casual and a fun time!
  • October >>

    Derby Fall Fair — Bring your family and friends! This event is open to the entire local community. It's a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon and support the most important Parents Association fundraising event. There are a variety of Games, Rides, Arts and Crafts Activities, a Petting Zoo, as well as food and items for sale from local vendors. This event is only successful because of the wonderful parents that volunteer to help and the team of parents who run the entire day. If you haven't already volunteered, then please consider doing so, we need you! This event goes on rain or shine.
  • November >>

    Fall Athletic Awards -- Held at the end of each of the fall sports seasons in Larson Hall, this event celebrates athletic achievement. Because it is held during the school day, it can be difficult for some parents to attend -- but your support is always appreciated! 

    Grand Friends Visiting Day -- Invite your grandparents (or grandfriends like aunts, uncles or other family members) to visit your child's school for the moning. A great opportunity to show family your child's talents, strengths and academic achievements.
  • December >>

    Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Winter Festival -- A wonderful celebration of the holidays! Very low-key, this event begins in the classrooms with craft time and ends in the Lower School library with a special musical performance. Bring your video camera!

    Holiday Traditions (Grades 4-6) -- Holiday Traditions is a morning holiday event and a great Derby tradition. Fourth graders have a part in the vignettes performed while students in Grades 5 and 6 participate in the chorus. The children have rehearsed for weeks and look forward to performing for their families. Many grandparents and extended family members attend this event in Larson Hall. There is a reception after the performance in Lewis Dining Hall.

    Let There Be Light: A Celebration (Grades 7 and 8) -- Another wonderful tradition at Derby. “Let There Be Light: A Celebration” is about children and hope and light. The program is an all-community event, including all students in Grades 7 and 8, as well as faculty. Girls should wear a black skirt and white top, while the boys wear dress pants and a white shirt and tie. A light lunch served after the performance in the Lewis Dining Hall.
  • January >>

    Winter Getaway — The Parents Association organizes a Winter Getaway, usually held over the Martin Luther King Junior weekend. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other Derby families on a weekend-long winter outing with skiing, sledding, group dinners and more. More information will be available this fall -- make your reservations early, as the trip is very popular.
  • February >>

    Choral Concert (Grades 2-6) -- Enjoy a winter choral concert to warm your soul. Students will perform songs that have been rehearsed all fall and winter. All are welcome to attend.
  • March >>

    Winter Athletic Awards (Grades 6-8) -- Held at the end of the winter sports season in Larson Hall, this event celebrates athletic achievement. Because it is held during the school day, it can be difficult for some parents to attend -- but your support is always appreciated!

    Upper School Musical -- A great take! If you haven't been, or your child is too young to participate then you really should consider going. There are usually a few performances for you to choose from. Most of the students in the Upper School are involved in the play in some way. 
  • April >>

    International Night -- The culmination of a tremendous amount of work by the fifth grade students, faculty, and staff; early in the school year, fifth grade students choose a country they would like to represent in a variety of ways. After much hard work throughout the school year, they make individual presentations to parents, students, and faculty in one fabulous evening. This is a very big night for the fifth graders and their families -- a must-see if your child is a fifth grader!
  • May >>

    Talent Show - The Parents Association in partnership with members of the Derby Faculty and the Eighth Grade Foley Prize winner organizes a Talent Show in the spring. Many dozens of students showcase their talents including; singing, stand-up comedy, dancing, gymnastics and more.

    Spring Athletic Awards (Grades 6-8) -- Held at the end of the spring sports season in Larson Hall, this event celebrates athletic achievement. Because it is held during the school day, it can be difficult for some parents to attend -- but your support is always appreciated!

    Athletic Appreciation Dessert (Grade 8) -- If you have a daughter at Derby in the Middle or Upper Schools, then set aside this evening. The evening begins with a dinner in the Lewis Dining Hall followed by the awards and a little skit put on by the eighth grade girls. It's a memorable evening for the girls with a few tears shed as they prepare to move on to secondary schools. 

    Faculty Appreciation Luncheon
     – A Parents Association event, this luncheon is always a beautiful expression of our admiration and respect for the Derby teachers and staff. Parents work extremely hard to make this event special each year.

    Arts Night (Grades 4-8)
     -- Another evening that is not to be missed. A very cute performance and display of unbelievable art projects that the children have created.

    Arts Morning (Grades 1-3)
     -- Same as above, but lower key for the younger students.

    Field Day -- A little-understood event for many families. This is a great time for families and students to come and watch an age-old competition at Derby: the Derbies against the Toppers (girls) and the Lights against the Darks (boys). Each student is assigned to a category for his or her entire Derby career and competes during the school year. On Field Day, the final competitions are held and the winners of each category emerge. Teachers and staff are all involved on this day. Not to be missed if you have a child in grades 4 through 8!

  • June >>

    Instrumental Recital -- Students who participate in Derby's Instrumental Music Lesson program have been working hard to produce a not-to-be-missed afternoon of music! All are welcome to attend.

    Mystery Bus (Grades 7 and 8) -- Upper School students are invited to take part in the annual Mystery Bus. With a destination yet to be discovered, students climb on board the busses and head off for a day of fun with some of their teachers. There are no Upper School classes on this day, however Upper School students must participate in the Derby Day rehearsal. Busses will be scheduled to depart and arrive accordingly. More specifics will be available in the DEN and from Student Council closer to the event date.

    Last Chapel (Middle and Upper Schools) -- A very special ending to the school year with final speeches and awards for many. The dress code for this event is as for First Chapel -- dresses or skirts for girls and jacket and tie for boys. 

    Derby Day
     -- The entire school is involved in this grand procession down Fearing Road to the New North Church. It is the final act of the school year, with girls in white dresses and boys in dress pants, shirt, and tie. You may either walk with the group of students, teachers, and trustees, or wait in Hingham Square for the procession to pass. The ceremony then leads into the church for speeches and awards. Though all students and families may participate in the procession, the ceremony is limited to students in Grades 7 and 8 and their families due to space limitations.
    Dress for Derby Day: girls wear white dresses, (strapless dresses and spaghetti straps are not permitted) boys wear white shirts, white pants, dark blue jackets, ties and shoes. Derby ties are not required but are available at the school store. In Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten, boys wear white shirts, khaki pants, dark blue jackets and shoes. Ties are optional at this level. If you have questions about dress code, contact your division head: For Pre-K - Grade 3, contact Head of the Lower School Scot Chandler. For Grades 4-8, contact Head of the Middle and Upper Schools, John Houghton.
  • Ongoing >>

    Parent Coffees -- Throughout the year, parents are invited to campus for coffee with their division heads (Head of Middle and Upper School John Houghton and Head of Lower School Kathleen Smith) to discuss various educational topics regarding children. Check the Derby calendar for dates and times.

    For information on events not listed here, please consult the Derby Handbook.

The Derby Parents Association

Every parent of a Derby Academy student is a member of the Parents Association (PA) at Derby. The Parents Association provides opportunities for parents to connect, communicate, support and participate in the life of the school by contributing their time and talents. Committed to building a strong parent community, the PA welcomes new parents, sponsors social gatherings, provides opportunities to hear from the school and outside experts on subjects of interest, and sponsors an array of student activities and events.

The Parents Association holds regular meetings and all parents are encouraged to attend and participate in discussions and decision-making.
    • 2019-2020 PA Board Members

2019-2020 PA Board

Executive Board:
  • Co-Presidents: Kristan Pavona and Rebecca Synnestvedt
  • Vice President: Jill Mazzocco
  • Treasurer: Allison Forrest
  • Secretary: Kim Millian 
  • Communications: Jodi McVane

Grade Representatives:
Pre-K: Jenn Mathien and Kathy Greaney
K: Sarah Kadzielski and Jenna Leary
Grade 1: Mary Murphy and Maryanne Wetherald
Grade 2: Karin Monfredo and Catherine Varitek
Grade 3: Heather Hawes and Kate Holmgren
Grade 4: Jeff Alexander and Amy Wilson
Grade 5: Helen Ra and Heather Ward
Grade 6: Donna Ryan and Elizabeth Frattasio
Grade 7: Sue Daniello and Katie Steele
Grade 8: Sarah Cosgrove and Chelsie Olney 

Athletics - Girls: Emily Miller, Vera Rubeiz
Athletics - Boys: Kelly Arevian, Caroline Counselman
D Team Co-Chairs: Kate Caulfield, Maura Harold
D Team – Lower School: Patricia Tai-Cioffi, Heather Ward
D Team – Middle/Upper School: Kelly Fleming, Jodi McVane
Derby Store: Lisa Fitzgibbons, Rachel Sadhwani
Faculty Cards/Fund: Kathy Greaney, Devon Smith
Faculty Luncheon: Jeff Alexander, Kate Finnerty
Green Team Co-Chairs: Lauren Cressman, Pam Sharpe
Green Team: Allison Doherty, Colin Doherty, Amy Wilson
New Family Coordinator, PS/LS: Jennifer Monteiro
New Family Coordinator, MS/US: Meagan Carson 

Photo Day: Jenny Barrett
PIN: Jill Mazzocco, Lara Thompson
Upper School Semi: Chelsie Olney, Sharon Whitlock
Winter Faculty Event: Kate Finnerty, Kristan Pavona, Rebecca Synnestvedt
Winter Getaway: Sue Daniello 

Fall Fair Co-Chairs: Donna Ryan, Gina Griffin, Rebecca Glynn
Raffle: Helene Drew
Art Tent: Audra Boyle, Kate Caulfield, Marta Noble
Food: Elizabeth Frattasio
Games: Jen Gannett, Zana Jordan, Jen Monteiro
Advertising: Christiane Fabrizio, Lindsey Merrill
The best educational choice on the South Shore for Pre-K through Grade 8 education.