Gray Matters (October 2018)

Back to School Night

Our year is off to a wonderful start.  In the past month, we celebrated the start of school with a fabulous picnic (no one can say we are a fair weather community!), welcomed new students and teachers to Capitol Hill Day School at our first all-school assembly, and on Friday, we honor our Eighth Grade class at our annual Dot Assembly. (Ask your children about this unique tradition.)

Capitol Hill Day School is 50 this year.  Milestone birthdays are a time for reflection; a time to consider past, present, and future.  As I reflect on the history of our School and think about where we are heading, the thing that I keep coming back to, the thought that I cannot get away from, is my strong belief that our progressive philosophy is as relevant today as it has ever been.  

Looking at the social, political, and environmental world our children are inheriting, I believe it is essential that our School continue to be built on the beliefs that:

  • Learning is a collaborative and cooperative process.
  • Pedagogy and curriculum are designed to teach for deeper understanding and critical thinking.
  • Knowledge is presented as a dynamic, coherent, interconnected set of ideas.

Additionally, it is imperative that we are teaching in ways that give children authentic opportunities to turn what they've learned into action (our commitment to Service Learning), and repeated practice in using what they learn ethically to make positive differences (our commitment to Social Justice).

We believe, as John Dewey said, that "Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself."  A love of learning is essential, and children develop that love when they experience the process of learning as challenging, engaging, creative, and playful.

Finally, a quick update on our project at Farren's Stable:  This campus expansion is a significant way in which we are continuing to grow, innovate, and implement teaching and learning at Capitol Hill Day School.  The renovation is proceeding on pace, and we are on target to occupy the space in January 2019.  Look for renovation updates on social media, and please join me at my October 23 coffee to learn more about the project.

The faculty and staff of Capitol Hill Day School are our heart and soul. I am extremely grateful for their commitment to our mission and philosophy.  Likewise, parents are an essential part of our community, and we are grateful for your ongoing support and trust.

Jason Gray
Head of School