Transitions

Minna Ham, Lower School Head
Post Date: June 3rd, 2022
Minna Ham - Lower School Head at Belmont Day School

Memorial Day Weekend traditionally serves as the unofficial start to summer, marking the transition to warmer weather, longer days, and a change in schedule for many. For those of us who work in schools or have school-age children, summer is the start of a less predictable schedule (although maybe less so in the last couple of years) and more opportunities for free time and leisurely activities outdoors. Some parents have spent months making plans for vacations, trips, camps, and childcare arrangements. And as school winds down, they will begin preparing children to make the mental leap to more time outside and less structured days. This change in environment, schedule, and social groups will allow children to apply important social skills they have been learning and practicing all year in the small bubble of BDS.

Our faculty is also getting ready to transition from the academic year 2021-22 to 2022-23. Teachers are now helping students with finishing touches on presentations and projects. In the coming days, they will complete their curriculum and prepare students for next year with visits to their next grade’s classrooms and teachers. At our Moving Up Assembly when students say goodbye to their current teachers and formally greet next year’s, they really feel the gravitas of finishing a grade. Of course, our oldest students take part in the grandest ceremony, graduation, that marks the significant transition from our Belmont Day School campus to the wider world of high school.

As for me, I approach the end of this year with mixed emotions. I have truly enjoyed my time at Belmont Day. I have especially valued the relationships I have built with students, faculty, and parents. I am immensely proud of the good work that has been accomplished in the lower school since I began. The collaborative efforts among faculty members, both teaching and non-teaching, have brought about curricular and structural changes, as well as opened a new building (the Barn) and kept students onsite during a pandemic. I will miss this learning community, this teaching community, this growing and diverse community.

Leaving is made easier knowing that kindergarten teacher Betty Pryor is stepping in to lead the lower school division next year. During my four years here she has demonstrated all the qualities of an excellent teacher and leader. Over the years, I have leaned heavily on her whenever I needed some institutional context. She is extremely knowledgeable of the developmental needs of all lower school students and advocates for students and faculty.

I thank this wonderful community for the opportunity to lead here. It has been a memorable experience that has filled my heart with great joy and wonderful memories.

Archive Posts

Starting the New School Year With Excellence in Focus (Part 2)

Post Date September 23rd, 2022
Thank you to all who attended the Middle and Lower School Curriculum Nights during these past two...read more

Starting the New School Year With Excellence in Focus (Part 1)

Post Date September 23rd, 2022
Thank you to all who attended the Middle and Lower School Curriculum Nights during these past two...read more

Cultivating Community and Making Excellence Visible

Post Date September 16th, 2022
During August faculty meetings, there were two key priorities as we welcomed new faculty and...read more

Welcome Back!

Post Date September 9th, 2022
In May of 2020, I watched as eighth grader Camille DeStefano ‘20 taught her virtual audience all...read more

Happy Summer

Post Date June 10th, 2022
These are exciting days here at Belmont Day as we are in the flurry of celebrations and traditions...read more

My Summer Reading List: 13 Titles for 13 Weeks

Post Date May 27th, 2022
I offer one of my favorite annual traditions: my summer reading list. What follows here is shared...read more

Celebrating Faculty Milestones

Post Date May 20th, 2022
Kurt Robinson – 10 years From the days of the iD8 lab in the Schoolhouse to the IMPACT Lab, the...read more