Gray Matters (September 2020)
Welcome to the New School Year
Good morning! Happy first day of school. Today is the start of my 26th year in education. Nearly all, going on 24, have been right here at Capitol Hill Day School. I love this school. I believe in this community. I am deeply committed to our children.
Over my many years in education I have come to genuinely appreciate the rhythms and patterns of the academic calendar. I especially cherish the symbolism inherent in the first day of school. This annual rite of passage represents new beginnings, fresh starts, and an important measurement of growing up.
Stating the obvious, the 2020-2021 school year begins like no other. In 1995, my first year of teaching, I could not have envisioned where we are today. Even simply a few years ago using words like synchronous and asynchronous to describe elements of teaching and learning was unimaginable to me.
Without question this will be an unprecedented year. However, there are common threads that weave through all of my years at Capitol Hill Day School, and I can assure you that this year is no different. Our teaching and learning environment...
- attends to the whole child.
- focuses on community.
- makes learning a collaborative and cooperative process.
- engages in social justice.
- teaches for deeper understanding.
- is committed to experiential learning.
- takes children seriously.
Throughout the summer our continued commitment to these tenants was evidenced time and again as I witnessed the intentionality with which CHDS educators planned for the start of this year. As educators I believe we are finding certainty in continuing to do what we do best, what I have most valued about this school for going on 24 years. We are putting children at the center of our decision making. Their academic and social/emotional development, and their health and safety are our guide.
This will be a different year. We can expect ups and downs. There will be moments of imperfection. However, as we continue to keep children at the center of our hearts and minds and commit fully to supporting each other, I believe that in a very unique way this will be a wonderful year.
Head of School