Leadership Blog

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

The Story of Lenny and Lino’s Tree

Post date December 7th, 2018
For those of you who are new to the BDS community, I want to share with you the story of the beautiful fir tree that stands beside our new driveway and overlooks Far Field. That special tree will soon be bedecked with lights and ornaments, and has flourished on our campus for over a decade to honor the memory of a beloved member of our community. The story of this tree is captured wonderfully in this article, written by Jill Becker P ’14. Enjoy, and have a great weekend. A STORY OF FRIENDSHIP: THE L & L TREE by Jill Becker P ’14, reprinted annually since the February 16, 2008 Friday...read more

Grateful in Retrospect

Post date November 30th, 2018
With the early Thanksgiving holiday this year (November 22 is the earliest date on which it can fall), my Scoop writing calendar has been thrown a bit. Typically, I would share what follows as a send-off to the holiday rather than a retrospective, but here we are. In keeping with my sentiments at the Thanksgiving assembly, I am hopeful that my message will spread the feelings of gratitude and appreciation for all that we have, and inspire you to share with others as the holiday season arrives. Here, in no particular order, are some of the many things for which I am and have been grateful for...read more

Questions and Answers

Post date November 16th, 2018
Happy Thanksgiving. If any of you are like me, as you look out onto a snow-covered ground, you’re probably wondering how we all got here so quickly. This fall has been a true blur—full of growth, excitement, change, and opportunity—and we have been doing our best at school to take advantage of it all. We are also looking forward to the upcoming break to reconnect as families and friends, perhaps traveling, perhaps staying put, but eager for some good food, good company, and the comfort that comes with the holiday season. Last week, I held the State of the School and asked for questions as I...read more

State of the School 2018

Post date November 9th, 2018
For those who participated in person, or live on Facebook , thank you for joining us for the 2018 State of the School. If you were not able to join us, the video of the presentation is available here. You can also review the slide deck from the evening. Caption for Dr. Kristine Guleserian's '80 conversation with Brendan Largay in Coral Gables, Florida (@ 43:37): "So, one of the memories is I spent a lot of time in the library which was a very tiny little library back then and I remember, I guess if you had records you could check and see how many times I checked out some of the very same...read more

Looking Ahead to the State of the School

Post date November 2nd, 2018
Happy November! Hard to believe it is here so soon. I hope that Halloween was a fun and joyful day for those that celebrated. This week’s comments will be brief, with a preview of the State of School that will take place next Thursday, November 8 at 6 p.m. We hope that you will join us in Coolidge Hall, or follow the live stream on Facebook. The topics I plan to cover: Feedback from last year's parent survey, where we are excelling, and where we have room to grow. What are heads of school across the country thinking about these days and why does that matter here at BDS? What does life look...read more

Cheering on the Process of Athletics

Post date October 26th, 2018
For those of you who are not local sports fans, forgive the next 800 words or so. I understand your frustration with us, the insufferableness of it all. The life of a Boston sports fan has been an indulgent one since 2001, and I can imagine how challenging that must be for all of you Yankees, Steelers, Jets, Lakers, 76ers, Canadiens, and now, Dodgers fans. For anyone who has been around Boston for a while, you know it hasn’t been like this forever. Maybe that’s why we’ve been so insufferable: because so many of us are simply expecting for it to end rather than enjoying the embarrassment of...read more

When 1000 Words Can Make a Great Photograph

Post date October 19th, 2018
I spent the weekend and the first part of this week at the Elementary School Heads Association retreat with 50-plus heads of school from across the country. We heard from great speakers and shared the experiences that have helped to shape the start of the year. We were also reminded, again and again, of the importance of the work happening in our schools to guide our students in navigating the powerful social forces that they face in an increasingly complex world. The theme of the conference was “Lead with a Story,” and much of our time was spent examining our role as the author or audience...read more

Effective Failure

Post date October 12th, 2018
Last week, we held an event for parents that included a tour of the Barn. The night was a great one—full of discovery both literal and figurative—that pulled back the veil on the excellence of the program that awaits our students. Early in the tour, as we arrived at the innovation studio, I spoke about my hopes for the learning that will happen in that space. I hope it will be messy. And I hope, quite sincerely, that it will be a place where students will fail, early and often. A quick glance at the 40 or so folks gathered around, and I saw a pause hanging heavily across their faces at the...read more

Cross Graded Partnerships

Post date October 5th, 2018
Happy October everyone. I had actually written something else for this week, and then I had a conversation this morning that inspired what follows—a look at the power of our cross-graded partnerships on the morning that they launched for the year. “I need to tell you,” a parent stopped me this morning, “my kids could barely sleep last night.” These students, an eighth grader and a fourth grader, had been “counting down the days all week” for the assignment of cross-graded partners. The eighth grade student was excited to become the elder partner to a pre-ker—so excited, in fact, that he...read more