Leadership Blog

A Pi in the Face

Post date March 16th, 2018
A year ago, a former colleague of mine put a challenge to his students: whoever could recite the most digits of pi (π) would be rewarded with the opportunity to throw an actual pie in his face. I loved it! What a great way to inspire an appreciation for the playfulness of mathematics. Sometime later I found myself in a conversation with (then) fourth grader, Rosie Schrag. A lover of mathematics herself, Rosie prides herself on her knowledge of the digits that follow the decimal point in pi. For those who haven’t brushed up on their geometry lately, pi is the number that expresses the ratio...read more

Student Leadership

Post date March 9th, 2018
Greetings from Atlanta, the host city for the 2018 National Association of Independent Schools' Annual Conference. This year’s theme is particularly salient: “The Leadership Journey: Guides, Pathways, and Possibilities.” The conference is designed for school leaders to reflect, to think strategically about their schools, and to consider all of the voices of powerful leadership that exist within a school community. A conference focused on leadership makes it easy to think about Capstone. To listen to Navi Radjou, scholar and innovation and leadership advisor, speak about the distinction...read more

Preserving Culture in the Midst of Change

Post date March 3rd, 2018
As I have noted in this space before, there is something special about the Belmont Day culture. It is grounded in our history as a school started by a collaborative effort of parents and in the six core values that are at the center of our students’ learning. It is evidenced in our present with a community that engages deeply in our students’ daily experience—most recently witnessed at first grade’s celebration of the 100th day of school: students joyously discovered the mathematical wonder of the world and shared their knowledge with faculty and families. As we look to our future, a question...read more

A Look Behind the Green Screen

Post date February 16th, 2018
I don’t often get the opportunity to see behind the green screen that marks the boundary of the Barn construction site. The construction vehicles are tall enough to be seen over the screens, and I hear them, certainly, so I know that the work is being done. But it is something else to see the progress being made in person. Part of working at a pre-k to grade eight school is borne of a desire to keep ourselves young. A great litmus test for that perpetual youth was my visit yesterday to the site itself with CP, our director of operations. I felt six years-old again. Huge vehicles, lifted from...read more

Teacher Training at BDS

Post date February 7th, 2018
I’ve worked in education for 30 years because I’m fascinated and inspired by a relationship that I think exists in the world’s most healthy and generative schools; children given space to figure out the adults they will become in classrooms where adults are tapping into the children that they themselves once were. There is no more precious place than where those two powerful perspectives converge, and it deserves to be celebrated, honored, and understood. In my role as director of the associate teacher program I am humbled daily by the commitment and reflective practice it takes to be an...read more

Lower School Parents' Visiting Day

Post date February 2nd, 2018
We were thrilled to spend the morning with those of you who were able to attend. Parent visiting days provide a window into the wonderful school experience that your child lives each day, and we hope it offered glimpses into the richness of the curriculum, the depth of the relationships your child forms at school, and the expertise with which the teachers guide the learning taking place. You may have noticed in your visit today and/or in the conversations about school that you have at home that your child has seemed to hit a big leap in their development as a learner. Well, you are not alone...read more

Do Your Job

Post date January 25th, 2018
Next week, I will be ceding this space to Diane Foster as she welcomes lower school parents on their visiting day. So, I’ll have to get my (annual?) celebration of local sports team excellence in this week. If you are not a sports fan, bear with me—the BSO gets some love here, too. If you are a sports fan, but you’re not a Pats fan…apologies in advance. A year ago, on the eve of last year’s Super Bowl, I reflected on a life of New England fandom and the lessons I learned from both the successes and failures of local teams and the lessons for our children who are growing up in the ‘City of...read more

Middle School Parents' Visiting Day

Post date January 19th, 2018
Middle school is a multi-staged journey, yielding discoveries at every turn. Today many of you were able to join us for one leg of the trip. As parents often reflect, the everyday life of their child at school can become a bit more opaque as their child enters middle school and sometimes holds onto more information than she chooses to share. Today—along with back-to-school night, sharing assemblies, theater performances, other events, and Friday Folders—is just one of the many ways we celebrate and honor the parent-school partnership at BDS. And even though, at the middle school stage, a...read more

Creating Curriculum

Post date January 12th, 2018
As a devoted reader, I find the most rewarding books are those that can transport me across time and space and into experiences that push my thinking to a deeper level. A teacher’s passion for curriculum design often comes from the same excitement as the author’s—the opportunity to create a new world of experiences for students that develop their skills and ignite their desire to learn more. At Belmont Day I am privileged to work with so many dedicated creators of curriculum. Our faculty know that the best curriculum is created in environments where current research is readily available, best...read more

Happy New Year

Post date January 7th, 2018
I hope folks are enjoying the double snow day reentry to the new year in warmth and comfort. What a storm! I have always enjoyed the welcoming of a new year. It is a time when we simultaneously look back and ahead, much like the two-faced Roman god, Janus, after whom the month of January is named. Of course, it is also the time when we are inundated with suggestions for resolutions about what to change and how to change it from just about every direction—talking heads, Twitter feeds, magazines, family members, and friends—to say nothing of our own inner dialogue as we turn the page on another...read more