The Arc of Musical Development at Langley

By Chuck Schmidt, Instrumental Music Teacher and Band Director

In November, I had a moment when it really hit me how fortunate I am to be part of the music program at The Langley School. I started to write some recommendation letters for eighth-graders and updated my typical opening sentence to: “In this, my 25th year at The Langley School….” For 25 years, I have been part of a wonderful team of performing arts teachers, helping students of every age have fun making music. Because I also set up sound and lights for most of our performances, I also get to see and hear students younger than the ones I typically teach share their music in performances as well.

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In the Face of Another Natural Disaster, Reconciling Joy and Comfort with Empathy and Action

By Brent Locke, Dean of Students

As our 75th school year begins, our hallways are once again filled with the laughter of children, the gifts of friendship, and the comfort in knowing we have a joyous place to learn and grow each and every day. Of course, these happy emotions can be hard to reconcile with the helplessness we may feel in our inability to act and in the guilt we may feel in our abundance as we watch so many in our country and around the world battle the destructive and unrelenting forces of Mother Nature. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and the earthquake in Mexico have wrought untold devastation in the Caribbean, Mexico, Texas, Florida, and much of the south. The needs are many and urgent as families, businesses, and schools are trying to survive, regroup, and rebuild. It is in these times that Langley shines brightest as we come together to help those who most need our support.

 Dr. Jane Goodall at The Langley School

Dr. Jane Goodall, former Lower School Head Ghetta Hirsch, and former Head of School Doris Cottam speaking to students about the Roots & Shoots service program which Langley still uses for service learning today.

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The Langley School: Curtain Calls Through the Decades…

By Elena Meschieri, Director of Web and Social Media

“It’s not just a Middle School play!” This is what I said to my friend last week when I told her about The Langley School’s latest drama production, “It’s All Greek to Me.” This play is the most recent installment in a long-standing tradition of high-quality performances here at The Langley School.

Every year, the young cast surprises the audience with their talent and dedication to the art. The Middle School play is the perfect example of collaboration, dedication, and unending creativity. More than 50 students work together, each of them playing an important role, to ensure that the props, costumes, makeup, music, and lighting are all perfectly coordinated. The cast then dedicates countless hours memorizing each line to perfection and practicing their roles so the audience can not only enjoy the play, but feel like they are a part of the story.

I invite you to take a trip down memory lane and enjoy some of The Langley School’s past Middle School productions. View the video:


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First Impressions from Our Argentinean Friends

by Langley’s World Language Department

Each year, Langley hosts a group of middle school boys from the Rosario Jockey Club of Argentina with the goal of assisting our students in forming meaningful connections with native Spanish speakers. The exchange of ideas, language, culture, and sport with peers from across the globe prepares our children for an active role as global citizens.Langley and Jockey Club Rosario-Argentina

Additionally, each year, we enjoy exchanging unique experiences and reflecting upon our impressions of each others’ cultures. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • The Argentine boys were overjoyed to sit in the iconic yellow school busses they have seen in American movies and television.
  • Our eighth-graders learned that these Argentinean boys were enthusiastic about eating pizza, had mixed feelings about Lionel Messi (also from Rosario!), and were shy to express their love of Taylor Swift’s latest hits (who knew?)!
  • The Argentineans were eager to know why there were no locks on Langley’s student lockers. We were proud to discuss Langley’s core values of respect, kindness, honesty, trustworthiness, and citizenship with them.
  • Argentines and Virginians alike were amazed to learn from science teacher Ryan McKinney, who was our guide through Great Falls Park, that the 15-mile stretch of the Potomac River Gorge we visited includes over 1,400 different plants and over 200 rare species.
  • Though Rosario is over 5,000 miles away from Langley, our children formed connections that will last a lifetime.

Jockey Club de Rosario’s coach, Jose Perez Bustamante, summed up their visit to Langley in these words: “We believe the visit to Langley is one of the best things we do in our journey. The boys are back happy and at our meeting on our last day in the USA, several highlighted the visit to the school and to Great Falls. We take this visit as FUNDAMENTAL!!! It is part of American culture, and is part of our “story” here in Argentina. Every time we visit Langley, you all show friendship and love for your institution. Students, administrators, and coaches are always proud of the institution and make us feel welcome. You all proudly wear the Langley jersey!! The affection with which you treat us, the lunch, the facilities tour, and your friendship is for all of us a great joy! We want this to continue for many more years…”

A special thank you goes to our very own Spanish teacher and director of web and social media, Señora Meschieri, who established this program.

Interested to learn more?

Some Things Never Change

By Peggy Evans ’85

The Langley SchoolI have been asked more than once, “What is the same about Langley now from when you were a student here nearly 30 years ago?” Athletic Director Jim Gleason (totally not fair!), the Field Day and Fall Fair traditions, and the Primary School and administration buildings are all the same. Most importantly, the sense of community has stood the test of time.

One example that stands out was my first Langley tradition where the whole school went ice skating. Just before my kindergarten year, I had lost my mom to cancer. My dad could not make it to skating day for some reason, but I insisted on going anyway. Even though my parents weren’t there, I did not go around the rink once without one. Parents, whether they had a child in my grade or not, took turns holding my hand and ensuring I was included and not forgotten. Event after event, parties and playdates, I was looked after and cared for by the teachers and parents at Langley.

Fast forward 30 years…my son, Mark, entered Langley in 2011 as a kindergartner and my daughter was born the same week. She was a DISASTER! She screamed all the time with colic, allergies, and general overall nastiness. For Mark’s first year of Langley, I was pretty much absent – no field trips, parties, or playdates. Mark didn’t skip a beat. The community knew that Mark was new to the school and needed to be included and not overlooked. When I finally resurfaced, Mark was settled in a new school with good friends. This was the same sense of community my dad and I experienced 30 odd years ago.

Langley has new buildings, teachers, and strategic plans since I was a student, but thankfully some things haven’t changed. The wonderful community here is just one reason Langley is imprinted on my heart. The whole community and “every child” have been a constant since my enrollment – something I am so proud I can share with my son, and hopefully soon, my daughter.