Leadership Blog

Thankful

Post date November 17th, 2017
Evidence that I have been here for a significant amount of time…I can now start writing things that lead with “second annual.” It feels good. To that end, allow me to present my second annual offering of thanks. At this time of year, things seem to both ramp up—a trimester ends, reports are written, new arts classes are offered, tryouts for winter sports teams are held—and slow down, as the season calls for more reflection as we give thanks with friends and family and pay our good fortune forward through service and charitable giving. Here at BDS, I offer my thanks to a community that...read more

Questions and Answers

Post date November 10th, 2017
True to my promise, the following are answers to a few of the questions that were shared with me at the conclusion of last evening’s State of the School presentation. I have not answered every question; instead you will find answers to those most frequently asked. An opportunity to discuss them all will be planned soon. Q: As the middle school curriculum and structure is changed to grades six to eight with a larger number of students per grade, how and when will the changes be phased in? A: The changes we will experience with enrollment growth are designed to begin next year with a larger...read more

No One Reads the Scoop

Post date November 3rd, 2017
Actually, the headline here is not entirely accurate. Turns out, many people do. In fact, of the folks who filled out last spring’s parent survey, 105 respondents said they read the Scoop weekly. The statistics provided by MailChimp, the email tool we use for the Scoop, confirms this and shows that 69.7% of parents are weekly readers. So, what gives? Why is the perception that “no one reads the Scoop” even a thing? Well, if data is to be believed, it is because there’s reading the Scoop and then there’s reading the Scoop. Let me clarify: if I read the Message from the Head, then, technically...read more

500 Hats

Post date October 27th, 2017
Of Dr. Seuss’ many memorable children’s stories, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins falls somewhere behind The Cat in the Hat and ahead of On Beyond Zebra in its acclaim. The 500 Hats is a story of a king who demands that his subjects remove their hats in his presence. For Bartholomew, when his hat is removed, another mysteriously appears in its place. The king insists that Bartholomew remove this second hat, and yet another appears. This continues and each new hat becomes a bit fancier until finally, the 500th hat is replete with the grandeur of royalty, and Bartholomew graciously gives it...read more

Iterative Design and Excellence

Post date October 20th, 2017
On Saturday morning, Belmont Day will open its doors to prospective parents considering independent schools. They will be evaluating whether Belmont Day’s core values and whole-child promise can wrap around their child in the years to come. When one of those core values is excellence, an open house provides us with an opportunity to feature our program and our initiatives at their very best. We put our best foot forward and showcase everything that we stand for and believe in so that families can make an informed decision in their process. All of which provides an important context for the...read more

Engagement as Medicine

Post date October 6th, 2017
Engagement as Medicine Like so many, I am deeply troubled by the most recent barrage of tragic news in our country. From the ravaging natural disasters in Texas, Florida, Mexico and Puerto Rico, the terror of the shooting in Las Vegas, to the prospect of war with North Korea, difficult topics abound, and I—as both a parent and head of school—have been trying to make sense of it all. Following the news of the Las Vegas shooting, several members of the faculty connected to discuss current events and where we see evidence of the world’s sadness creeping into classrooms, lunch conversations, or...read more

I Don’t Know If You’ve Read This Yet, But…

Post date September 29th, 2017
I Don’t Know If You’ve Read This Yet, But… In the life of a school—once the tear for another summer gone by has been shed—September is about restoring routine both in the classroom and at home. We rediscover old friends and make new ones, and the familiar context of school highlights the growth that has taken place since June. For teachers, administrators, and parents, there is an additional trend to September that seems impossible to ignore—currently trending articles on what students need. They arrive like clockwork across any number of social media feeds: “What Your Child Isn’t Learning,...read more

The Case for Cultural Competency

Post date September 22nd, 2017
The Case for Cultural Competency Today, Belmont Day is as diverse a community as it has ever been in its proud history. The Annette Raphel Scholarship for Leadership and Diversity, a merit scholarship for Boston-area students from African-American, black, Latino, or Hispanic descent, is in its first year. Our student community is comprised of 35% students of color. We have families hailing from 27 towns including towns as far afield as Andover, Framingham, Maynard, Bedford, Woburn, and Weston. As educators it is critical for us to provide students and their families with both mirrors that...read more

Innovation in the Most Surprising of Places

Post date September 15th, 2017
Innovation in the Most Surprising of Places Before the first week of August, I had no idea that the Eastern Townships of Canada even existed, and I certainly couldn’t find them on a map. As it turned out, however, that was precisely where my family found itself on vacation during summer’s dog days. The Eastern Townships are south of Montréal and Quebéc, less than an hour from the New Hampshire border. They share the topographical features of New England—mountains, trees, rivers, and lakes—and reminded me of what I imagined New England might have looked like a century ago with less development...read more

Welcome Back to School

Post date September 8th, 2017
“It is always quietly thrilling to look at a world you know well but have never seen from such an angle before.” - Bill Bryson If folks recall, I always set myself up for a challenge each summer by aspiring to read a book a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Invariably, I fall short and experience some disappointment; this summer, for instance, I read nine—my record is eleven and a half. The disappointment has yet to stop me from setting the goal each year, aspiring to achieve it, and enduring the conspiracy of schedule and energy against my aspiration. As I reflect on it, reading over 3000...read more

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