Gray Matters (May 2019)
Sharing Our Learning, and Learning from Visitors
One of my favorite responsibilities as Head of Capitol Hill Day School is sharing our community with others. I am proud of the teaching and learning environment we create, and I enjoy showing our School off to visitors. In truth, I see the act of hosting guests as a learning opportunity. Visitors often bring outside expertise, ask questions that cause me to rethink how I articulate our philosophy, or make observations that encourage reflection on our practice.
Last week was a particularly eventful few days.
Dan Frank, Principal of Francis W. Parker School
On Wednesday, I spent nearly an hour and a half with Dan Frank. (Thank you to a parent of early childhood student, Emily Lucio, for arranging the visit.) It is a particular thrill to share Capitol Hill Day School with a fellow head of school, especially Parker, founded in 1901, and one of the “original” progressive schools. It was wonderful to walk Dan around campus and in and out of classrooms discussing our shared passion.
Throughout the regular admissions season I host a monthly Head of School tour and participate in each Open House. When my schedule permits, I make a point of stopping to introduce myself to all other prospective families who take time to visit. I appreciate the questions discerning parents ask and enjoy sharing what it is I most value about our School. In the spring, even though regular admissions deadlines have passed, we continue to engage prospective families in the admissions process. On Thursday, we had a robust tour of families interested in openings throughout the School.
Rosetta Lee is an educator from Seattle Girls’ School and is a diversity speaker and trainer on a variety of topics. Friday was Rosetta’s second visit to Capitol Hill Day School. This go round, she spent the entire day with us. In the morning, Rosetta met with parents for a discussion on how to talk to youth about heated topics. Later, she facilitated sessions with Upper Grade students, exploring who we are: identity, inclusion, and allyship. In the afternoon, Rosetta engaged with a subset of our faculty and staff on building cultural competence in schools, and finding the tools to help independent schools become leaders in cultural competency, inclusion, and equity.
Area High School Admissions Professionals
Since our new Upper Grades space at Farren’s Stable came online last January, we have planned and hosted a number of opportunities to show off the facility. Specifically, we have used these opportunities to speak to guests about how the space allows us to structure teaching and learning for our middle school students in innovative ways. On Friday, we invited admissions professionals from area high schools to Farren’s Stable. High schools love Capitol Hill Day School students, and it was wonderful to have representatives in Farren’s Stable observing our students and teachers in action.
Gallaudet Teaching Interns
Over the past two years, we have built a meaningful relationship with Gallaudet’s School of Education. As part of this relationship, it has been our pleasure to host teaching interns. These internships last approximately ten weeks, during which education students from Gallaudet embed themselves in our early childhood and elementary classrooms. Friday, the last day for most of our new colleagues, was bittersweet. The collaborative exchange of learning among Capitol Hill Day School teachers and the students from Gallaudet is wonderful to watch and sad to see it end.
We look forward to seeing you at two upcoming community events: our 50th Celebration on Saturday, May 4; and the annual 8th Grade v. Faculty/Staff/Board Basketball Game on Friday, May 10.