Leadership Blog

At the Confluence of Mother's Day and Faculty Appreciation Week

Post date May 7th, 2021
Stay in education long enough, and you are certain to get this question asked of you: Who was the most influential teacher in your life? For me, the answer is quick and relatively easy. There are two. The first is my mother. When I think back, especially to my early childhood and upper elementary years, she was there. While I was trying to figure out how to add fractions, she was trying to understand me and how I learned. She had many wonders: For a child to whom things seemed to come so quickly, why does he forget to put his shoes on in the morning? After getting help to navigate his social...read more

The Bedrock of Great Teaching

Post date April 30th, 2021
If you reflect on the teachers at Belmont Day who had the greatest impact on your child or children, there is a very strong possibility that they began their career as a teaching associate, intern, or teaching fellow. My career in education, like many of my colleagues’, began with an internship after a career change. Today, as a head of school, I carry with me some critically important lessons from those earliest days as a new educator–how to manage a classroom, how to frame curriculum, how to apply an equitable lens to my work, and how to construct (and then deliver) an arc of programming...read more

Capstone 2021

Post date April 16th, 2021
If there could be a moment that marks a return to some semblance of life before the pandemic, may it be Capstone, our school's programmatic crown jewel. We found a way to safely bring our entire eighth grade into the PAC—seated 6' apart, masked, and ever attentive to the privilege of the moment—so that this key community experience would be shared as a class after a year of cohorted distance. And how the Class of 2021 has seized this moment. Capstone is a clear manifestation of our mission. Inspire and challenge? Check. Each student has spent the year dedicated to a topic of their choosing,...read more

A Walk in the Woods

Post date April 9th, 2021
If you look to the left as you drive up the driveway, just before Far Field begins, you will see a structure—I liken it to a wooden version of an old VW bus sitting driverless in the woods—constructed by our intrepid fourth graders. The construction is a showcase of student imagination during recess on these wonderfully mild early spring days. It is also a reminder of how nature and the outdoors play an important instructional role here at Belmont Day. A glance at the interior courtyard, and you feel as though you have stumbled into a nature exhibit at the Boston Children’s Museum, with trees...read more

Hope Springs Eternal

Post date April 2nd, 2021
Mid-morning yesterday, I realized that I had forgotten to wear my Red Sox jersey to school to celebrate Major League Baseball’s Opening Day. I was disappointed to miss a chance to celebrate the Sox’s return—an annual ritual that reminds me that warmer weather, flowers in bloom, and glorious sunshine are on their way. And then, with the game’s rainout, I was given a second chance; this morning, as I got dressed for school, I donned my Nomar Garciaparra #5 jersey and will treat today like my chance to do Opening Day right. As I reflect on all that Opening Day means to me, I return to the...read more

Et Tu, Latin

Post date March 26th, 2021
For the past three years, while the school celebrated the Barn's opening and navigated the pandemic's disruption, there has been another slightly quieter type of building happening on our campus. Like the Barn itself, its construction process has been one with data-backed decision-making, dogged determination, and masterful design from experts in the field. Belmont Day's first collection of Latin scholars will graduate this spring. These students have worked and learned under the careful eye of Latin teacher and program architect Nicole Buck. Four years ago, driven by the school's intentional...read more

Making Our Actions & Interactions at BDS Count: The Goal Is Zero

Post date March 19th, 2021
Every day at BDS there are too many acts of kindness, caring, respect, friendship, and love to count. The uncountable amount of good that happens here equals the joy that makes us the community we want to be–a community in which everyone, from the youngest Pre-K scholar to the eldest faculty member, and including every parent, is safe and seen and respected. Beyond BDS there is much in the world that reflects and supports our values and aspirations. Sadly, we must also acknowledge the disturbing number of incidents of hatred and violence that occur in our society. Most recently, the horrible...read more

One Year

Post date March 13th, 2021
On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, a group of Belmont Day school leaders met in my office for several hours to decide whether to make the call to close school due to the burgeoning pandemic. Ultimately, of course, we decided to. The plan, at the time, was to close campus for two weeks. We would have two days to get our distance-learning plans organized for offsite learning to begin on Monday. I remember agonizing over the decision and its inevitable impact on our students, families, and colleagues. What about the upcoming musical to be performed that Friday and Saturday night? What about...read more

Reaching Beyond Ourselves to Help

Post date March 5th, 2021
“As of January 2019, Massachusetts had an estimated 18,471 experiencing homelessness on any given day, as reported by Continuums of Care to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) . Of that total, 3,766 were family households, 917 were veterans, 480 were unaccompanied young adults (aged 18-24), and 2,370 were individuals experiencing chronic homelessness. Public school data reported to the U.S. Department of Education during the 2017-2018 school year shows that an estimated 23,601 public school students experienced homelessness over the course of the year. Of that total,...read more

Touchdown for Perseverance

Post date February 26th, 2021
As February quietly comes to a close and March begins—like a lion, as they say—it is exciting to consider longer days, warmer temperatures, more time outdoors, and a long-awaited vaccine. Beyond that, I am also excited, or perhaps, more precisely, moved by something far, far away: NASA’s successful landing of the Perseverance Rover on Mars last week. Every few years, an eighth grade student will choose Mars or space exploration as their Capstone topic of study, and I am always fascinated to learn more about galactic pioneering. Invariably, the student presentations have inspired the audience...read more

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