Leadership Blog

State of the School 2019

Post date November 8th, 2019
Thank you to everyone who joined us in person and via the Facebook broadcast last evening for the presentation of the 2019 State of the School. It was a pleasure to share with all of you a look at where Belmont Day is today and where we've challenged ourselves to get to tomorrow. Your questions and feedback are extremely valuable and we wish to keep the discussions started last night rolling into the days and weeks ahead. So please reach out to me at any time. If you were unable to attend the State of the School or couldn't view it online, a video of the presentation and the accompanying...read more

We'll Save You a Seat for the State of the School

Post date November 1st, 2019
Happy November everyone! It is hard to believe it is already here. And yet, as I look back on a very busy start-of-the-year calendar, I shouldn’t be too surprised to have turned the page to November. We’ve been doing quite a bit around here as the year has really hit its groove. In the midst of that shared busyness–whether you’re cheering at a home game, attending your grade level social, coming to hear from our partners at McLean Hospital, or showing up for a sharing assembly–it may be easy to lose track of all that is happening on and about campus on a given weeknight. Allow me, then, to...read more

Women Dominating Their Fields, But Not Always the News

Post date October 25th, 2019
Are you following any of these names in the news or on your social networks: Simone Biles, Coco Gauff, Jessica Meir, Christina Koch, Katie Bouman, and Brigid Kosgei? If you aren't familiar with Simone Biles, I encourage you to tune into the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo this summer. Simone Biles is the single most decorated female gymnast in history, and at the 2019 FIG World Championships had not one, but two separate athletic feats named after her. One of them, a double-twisting double backflip, has changed gymnastic floor routines, although she is the only one who can perform it...read more

Opening Our Doors

Post date October 18th, 2019
My fondest memories of childhood include those made around Thanksgiving. In many ways, that hardly distinguishes me from countless others who find joy in gathering with friends and family for an event laden with tradition, warmth, and love. However, for me, the memories are not only about a delicious meal complete with turkey and trimmings but the event that occurred the evening before Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Eve significantly shaped my upbringing. Each year, my grandparents held something of an open house. Both of my parents come from large families and I grew up surrounded by cousins. My...read more

Hitting Our Stride ... And Hitting the Road!

Post date October 11th, 2019
Mid-October and the school year starts to feel as though all of the back-to-school traditions and ceremonies have wrapped up and the calendar is now in full swing. The most notable markers for our students—the comfortable, consistent cadence of the day-to-day; sleepier children at the end of the day with brains, hearts, and minds full to the brim; joyful connections on the playground, the Labyrinth or in the Kiva—are rooted in their relationships with their peers, and with their teachers. For teachers, the markers are similar and have an added nuance of preparation as we ready ourselves for...read more

Reversing the Decline in Middle School Independent Reading

Post date October 3rd, 2019
I’ve been a middle school teacher for nearly a dozen years. Over those years, I have noticed an unfortunate decline in students’ independent reading, both at school and at home. Recent research bears out this observation. In many schools, opportunities for independent reading—known by many catchy names including SSR, DEAR time, free reading, and wild reading—diminish markedly by the time students reach sixth grade. In his 2013 book, The Read-Aloud Handbook , educator and author Jim Trelease notes that “54 percent of fourth graders read for pleasure, 30 percent of eighth graders, and only 19...read more

Getting Lost in the Library

Post date September 27th, 2019
As I was adjusting the brand-new curved fiction shelves in the library just a couple of inches to the left…and then back again for what must have been the tenth time in as many minutes, I was reminded of a quotation I shared with families at Curriculum Night several years back. In his picture book Zen Ties , Jon J. Muth writes, “It is easy to believe we are each waves and forget we are also the ocean.” While this notion may be nothing new to those better versed in Zen Buddhism, I was struck by the rolling waves of our new fiction section that now draw you into the library. In that moment,...read more

Observing Our Culture of Caring

Post date September 20th, 2019
On the morning after our Lower School Curriculum Night, I am left reflecting on what I hope everyone saw on display at our school last night: caring. Of course, every aspect of our mission was on display, but what has long distinguished the Belmont Day experience is the simple caring that goes into every teacher’s lesson, every moment of contact between adult and child, every curricular decision, from the moment a child arrives to the moment they leave our care each day. Last night’s gathering also had me thinking of yesterday morning. As bandwidth has become a bit more available without a...read more

How Do I Love Numbers? Let Me Count the Ways

Post date September 13th, 2019
Happy Palindrome week, everyone. Here is an interesting fact to carry with you this weekend. From September 10 through 19 this year, our dates will be a palindrome (they look the same forwards and backward). So today, for example, is 9/13/19. What makes this so interesting? It is the last time this will be true of any date until the next century. Ninety-two years from now! I’ve always loved numbers. Strangely, perhaps, I have loved them for reasons that others may not. Most folks may love their consistency. A six is a six all day long, and there is no other interpretation. Leave the metaphors...read more

And Off We Go!

Post date September 5th, 2019
Welcome back, everyone. Summer still hangs in the air during the first week of school. The joy that marked the cautious excitement of summer experiences and sleep away camps has been replaced with a similar joy of reconnection, discovery, and exploration in the hallways here at school. Wide-eyed third grade students arriving to the Labyrinth for the first time. Pre-kindergartners equally clinging to parents and curiously searching around corners to find new opportunities for play. Sixth grade students rediscovering the hallway they knew as third and fourth grade students as something brand...read more