Leadership Blog

Welcoming Summer

Post date June 7th, 2019
Happy summer everyone! It has arrived as it usually does, just in time. As we drift into these lazy days, I find myself reflecting on a remarkable year here at Belmont Day. In many ways, I look on it as almost two years in one—pre-Barn and post-Barn—with a seismic shift in our school’s physical plant, and daily experience right in the middle of things. In every way, this year has been transformative for our school, and I am confident that it has been transformative for your child as well. This faculty has been extraordinary, as they are every year, in delivering the program and the heart that...read more

My Summer Reading List

Post date May 31st, 2019
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” – Charles Eliot Each summer, I try to read a book a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Thirteen weeks, thirteen books. It is a goal I set that I never reach—11.5 is my record—but not for lack of trying. I have a deal with friends to read 25 pages a night during summer; if we don't, we contribute $1 to a charity chosen by the person who missed the least number of reading days from now until then. All in the name of broadening horizons and celebrating...read more

Celebrating a Year of Growth

Post date May 24th, 2019
The end of the year is almost upon us, and there is excitement in the air as we, as faculty, look forward to completing reports, tackling the books by the nightstand, and lingering over coffee, conversations, and ideas. The children are already chattering about camps, sleeping in, and wriggling out of the routines of classrooms. Thoughts of summer can be joyful ones as we think about the days stretching luxuriously before us with infinite possibilities for fun and relaxation. It is enticing to rush forward into summer and embrace the new. As educators, we also know how important it is to...read more

Inspire and Challenge

Post date May 17th, 2019
Last night, at our annual corporation meeting, the board of trustees rolled out the first mission statement in the school's history. The mission is the product of a robust and iterative process with community engagement at every turn. It is my honor and privilege to share it with you here. Inspire and challenge. At Belmont Day School, we foster intellectual curiosity, honor differences, and empower meaningful contribution with excellence, respect, honesty, responsibility, caring, and joy.read more

Thriving on Growth

Post date May 10th, 2019
Liz Gray , Middle School Head A few weeks ago at a parent coffee, a parent who had attended last year's coffees on middle school program design asked this question that has made me pause. "Last year, we talked about building the Barn and beginning enrollment growth and how those would affect the middle school program. What have been the greatest rewards and challenges that the middle school has faced since then?" I have been kicking this question around in my head daily. When I think back to May 2018, we were surveying students to gather their “burning questions” about what they could expect...read more

In Search of a Phoenix: Hope Rising from the Ashes of Notre-Dame

Post date May 3rd, 2019
I visited Notre-Dame Cathedral on Easter Sunday in 1998, nearly 31 years to the day of the devastating fire that ravaged its beautiful spire, wooden arches, and much of its roof. As you might expect, the Mass that day was said entirely in French. I remember three things with crystal clarity from that morning—I didn’t understand a word of French, it didn’t matter, and I may never have so spiritual an experience again. Notre-Dame Cathedral, considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, is much more than a religious site—it is a national emblem, fixed in French history,...read more

Best Fit

Post date April 26th, 2019
As we near the day of the fourth grade Greek Festival, I have been doing my homework on the Greek myths. One, in particular, always catches my interest: the story of Sisyphus, the king who is forced to push a boulder up a mountain only to watch it roll down the other side and have to begin again. Whenever I think of this myth, I am left to wonder what Sisyphus feels right at the tipping point? Is it relief for those few moments before the rock rolls down the other side? Frustration at the prospect of having to start over again? Is there any sense of accomplishment? After all, pushing a...read more

The Teacher Training Marathon

Post date April 12th, 2019
In a few days, Boston will welcome thousands of runners to participate and compete in the annual Boston Marathon. It’s hard for me to fathom the time, energy, and mental commitment it takes to train for those 26.2 miles much less what it feels like to run them and then recover. Even though most of our associate teachers aren’t participating in the marathon this year (one associate is, miraculously!) I can’t help but see some similarities to their one-year residency program at Belmont Day. As part of their training, associates need to juggle a full course load and attend weekday and weekend...read more

Paddle Up for a Re-Imagined Erskine Library

Post date April 5th, 2019
The essential and foundational partnership between home and school is expressed in myriad ways at Belmont Day. Every parent in the community contributes to the strength of this partnership—from cheering on their child on the playing fields or encouraging them through challenging homework, supporting teachers as grade parents, contributing time and resources, and serving in leadership roles on the parents’ association or board of trustees.* There are many expressions of the home-school partnership—few are as vibrant and joyful as the parents’ association auction. As you’ve heard, the Paddle Up...read more

Preparing the Kid for the Road

Post date March 29th, 2019
It is remarkable how quickly time flies. During Capstone week, the college admissions scandal broke, and a flood of responses from the institutions involved and op-eds poured in across the country. I bookmarked and set aside each one as I wrote last week’s Scoop message celebrating the many lessons of Capstone. Now that I have returned to those articles and opinions, it seems that every possible analysis and perspective about the scandal has been offered. One sentiment that resonates most for me as an educator and as a parent was expressed in a New York Times article about snowplow parenting...read more