Category: News + Events

Admissions Now Working with Duolingo

We are pleased to announce that The MacDuffie School is now a Duolingo English Test Partner, adding to our list of options for English proficiency testing for prospective international students.

Duolingo is the world’s largest online language-learning platform and the world’s most downloaded education app for both Android and iOS devices. The platform includes a free language-learning app, a crowd-sourced text translation platform, and a language proficiency assessment center.

The company has now created a reliable and user-friendly English language proficiency exam called Duolingo English Test (DET) that students can take on any platform (computer, phone, tablet). The DET can be taken any time and is a fast, inexpensive alternative to other options—it takes approximately 30 minutes and costs $49. The exam uses computer-adaptive testing, meaning the questions will automatically adapt to each test-takers’ ability, generating a different set of questions for every session. The exam requires the Google Chrome browser and a computer equipped with camera and microphone. The testing session is recorded and verified by a Duolingo proctor, and the results are available to students and the Admissions Office within 48 hours.

Our goal is to improve the application experience for international students while still receiving reliable results. If you are an international student applying to The MacDuffie School, you can take the test here.

From the Head’s Desk: Positive Attention

A few years ago, one of our students spoke at 8th grade rite of passage about how MacDuffie had changed his perspective. This student said that he had been used to getting attention from his negative behavior. By attending MacDuffie, he was able to reinvent himself and work to get attention from the positive things that he did. He moved away from negative, cynical comments and focused on his own personal development. I was quite impressed by this fellow’s mature speech. Of course, when I mentioned it to him last week, he stated that he had no recollection of giving the speech at all! That’s fine by me, because his actions speak louder than words; he now serves on our Judiciary Council and is impressive on our Mock Trial and As Schools Match Wits teams. He has continued to choose the positive path and is recognized often for those choices.

Recently, I took the opportunity to address our freshman class during their class meeting. The topic was behavior, and I used the story of the boy and his changed perspective. I challenged our freshmen to choose the correct path–to be recognized for their positive contributions–and to encourage others to do the same. Some of our 9th grade teachers picked up this thread of conversation in their classes. I would like to encourage you to have this conversation at home with your own child, whether they are a freshman or not.

Sincerely,

Steve Griffin, Head of School

PHOTOS: Mountain Day 2017

Mountain Day and Candlelight are often cited when you ask seniors or alumni about their favorite MacDuffie traditions. (And a few might say Senior Sleepover, which caps off the day.) This year’s events took place on a beautiful, unseasonably warm October day.

After climbing Mount Holyoke and enjoying stunning views in every direction, the community had dinner together. As dusk fell, we made our way in silence to the bonfire in the field, formed two circles, and lit candles. The inner circle of new students and faculty then joined the outer circle, symbolizing that we’re no longer new or returning–just one community at MacDuffie. The evening concluded with CIRCLE value reflections from students and the Head of School and the singing of “Summer Suns” and “The Magnolia Song.”

Key Club Volunteers at Neuva Esperanza

Our Key Club, under the guidance of Mrs. Caballero, has been very busy since the start of the school year in the aftermath of hurricane devastation in Houston, Florida, and Puerto Rico.

The most recent efforts have focused on donations to Puerto Rico. Together with Nueva Esperanza of Holyoke, the Key Club has coordinated post-Maria food and clothing donations. Mrs. Caballero and four Key Club students recently volunteered at the receiving center. “The students worked really hard and they felt very empowered by the experience,” she said. “I was very proud of them. The Executive Director was also very impressed by their hard work and appreciated a lot the fact that the students wanted to contribute some of their early morning hours to serve the community.”