Leadership Blog

Health and Wellness Team Inspires at NAIS

Post date March 15th, 2019
Last month, four members of Belmont Day’s health and wellness team traveled to Long Beach, California to present at the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Annual Conference. They joined more than five thousand independent school educators and leaders engaged in creative, strategic, and collaborative dialogue on this year’s theme: Reimagining Independent Schools: Tearing Down Walls, Building Capacity, and Designing Our Future. Tina Fox, second grade teacher, Liz LaRocque, school nurse, Leesa Mercedes, school psychologist, and Kate Oznick, pre-kindergarten teacher, share their...read more

On Being a Capstone Mentor

Post date March 8th, 2019
We are on the eve of Capstone week. In two weeks, once we have learned something from our eighth grade students, I will share my thoughts on each presentation. This week, I offer a look behind the Capstone scenes to provide a different perspective on this crown jewel moment for our eighth graders. A myth about Capstone is that it is singularly an eighth grade experience. Part of the program’s magic lies in the relationships between students and their mentors. These mentors come from all walks of Belmont Day life—from lower school teachers, building and grounds crew, business office staff,...read more

Honesty

Post date March 1st, 2019
Welcome back! I hope that everyone was able to enjoy a delightful February break. Here on campus, Blair Fross, Joe Jean-Mary, and their team hosted a wildly popular Star Wars-themed vacation camp–complete with a visit from Princess Leia and Darth Vader to round out an intergalactic week here at BDS. I spent the week recharging with my family and doing my best to catch up on some reading which had fallen by the wayside. Alas, all I could muster was half of Joyce Kearns Goodwin’s Leadership in Turbulent Times and all of Ruth Ware’s The Woman in Cabin 10 (a beach-read thriller in stark contrast...read more

A February Throwback to Summer

Post date February 15th, 2019
Finally, some snow on the ground as a reminder that winter is here and that February break is upon us. For some that will mean a getaway—travel from our corner of the country to a far-flung place, perhaps with an adventure waiting, and for others, the break will offer a chance to stay local and decompress together as a family. Wherever the week takes you, I hope it allows you to savor some of life’s joys. This expression is borrowed from the work of Sonja Lyubomirsky in The How of Happiness , which was one of the faculty summer reading options this past summer. Like each of the texts we could...read more

The Process of Putting Our Mission Into Words

Post date February 8th, 2019
Last week in this space, I wrote about the AISNE accreditation 5-year visit. The team spent the better part of Monday visiting with us and left offering kind words about the thoughtful work being done, both in response to the AISNE recommendations and, more broadly, at our school. It is always great to have an opportunity to showcase the school to folks from outside the campus, and Monday felt particularly good in light of all the work the school has done in the past five years. Recommendation 5 encourages us to take a fresh look at our Statement of Purpose—a powerful, important, and long-...read more

AISNE Accrediting Team Visit

Post date February 1st, 2019
Happy February, and, for those invested in the local sports scene…go Patriots! A quiet, but significant, moment for Belmont Day will occur this Monday, February 4. We will welcome members of the AISNE Membership Committee for the five-year check-in on the recommendations the school received in 2013 through the re-accreditation process. The AISNE accreditation process for member schools is a thorough and robust one. A full year self-study, co-led by Betty Chu Pryor in the 2012-2013 school year, preceded the accreditation visit. The three-day onsite visit resulted in a series of thoughtful...read more

A Window Into the Faculty Room

Post date January 25th, 2019
Since the opening of the Barn, the faculty room has returned to the Schoolhouse—moving from the trailer, affectionately known as Coolidge Cottage, that is in front of Coolidge Hall. As the crow flies, the gathering space for faculty only moved about 500 feet to what was formerly Ms. Solomon’s art classroom. However, the impact of the move has been substantial and grounding. The buzz that serves as one of the qualitative indicators of a vibrant educational space is back inside the building, and its energy is contagious. The faculty room is much more than just a spot for a quick cup of coffee...read more

Creativity: A Critical and Teachable Skill

Post date January 18th, 2019
The shift was likely unremarkable to those who pay attention to such matters, but the World Economic Forum recently adjusted their list of the most important and in-demand skills in the coming years. Most of the skills listed remained more or less unchanged, with one notable exception—creativity moved up the charts more dramatically than any other. In 2015, the Forum expected creativity to be the tenth most critical skill. In 2020, they expect it will be the third most important skill. The list of all ten which can be found on several websites and in several publications (I found it here ) is...read more

Don't Forget to Breathe

Post date January 11th, 2019
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you enjoyed the winter break. As I have checked in with various folks—teachers, parents, and students—the feedback has been uniformly positive, and a renewed joyfulness is evident. An important reminder of the value of taking pause, celebrating reconnection, and thoughtfully reflecting on another year gone by. Reflection is a critical element of restoration, perhaps because it provides us with the bandwidth to achieve closure with thoughts or ideas that we weren’t quite done with, or because it allows the silt to sift through leaving only the golden nuggets...read more

Reflections on the NAIS People of Color Conference

Post date December 16th, 2018
In late November, Belmont Day sent its largest group of faculty to date to the National Association of Independent School’s People of Color Conference (PoCC) in Nashville, Tennessee. Each year, this conference always proves extremely impactful on our attendees and, by extension, the entire community. This week, some of the twelve colleagues who attended share their reflections on this important opportunity for professional and personal development. Brendan Largay, Head of School This was the second year I attended the People of Color Conference as the Head of Belmont Day School. As it was...read more

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