Gray Matters, October 2023

Back to School Night Reflection

Our year is off to a wonderful start. Over the past month we’ve celebrated the start of school with a fabulous picnic, welcomed new students and educators to Capitol Hill Day School at our first all-school assembly, had numerous fantastic FiPA events, honored our 8th Grade class at our annual Dot Assembly (ask your children about this unique, longstanding tradition—it’s one of my favorites), and just this past week hosted two special Back to School Nights. 

On Back to School Nights, in my remarks to families, I attempted to put our School environment and community into a broader cultural context. As I stated, as much as Capitol Hill Day School can feel like a little bubble, we cannot fully shield our children from the complexities of the world around them. As we navigate rapid technological advancement, social and political polarization, and environmental and climate devastation. And, as we observe the further widening of systemic wealth and resource inequity, and a deepening crisis of public health and wellness, it is easy to experience the world beyond Capitol Hill Day School as uncertain, distrustful, and unjust.

While the ability to make a direct impact on external challenges can feel limited, I strongly believe that if, at Capitol Hill Day School, we continue to create the environment that we wish to see more broadly, our impact can be significant. The fact that Capitol Hill Day School is a stable, trusting, joyful, and kind place is extremely meaningful for our children and ourselves. 

During our opening staff meetings in August, our School's dedicated educators spent time reflecting on six words that we collectively believe speak to the core of our learning environment: flexible, joyful, supportive, engaging, fulfilling, and collaborative. We sustain this healthy environment and nurture our community by continuing to focus on our mission and philosophy; centering children in our decision-making; and operating with our hallmark authenticity, intentionality, and vulnerability.

Capitol Hill Day School is a nurturing environment where our students learn and grow with confidence. Day in and day out, students are encouraged to take appropriate risks, fostering their intellectual curiosity and personal development. We are a school environment where children gain knowledge and learn the invaluable skills of empathy, responsibility, and collaboration. As educators, we provide children with tools and guidance to navigate the complexities of our world while centering the values of compassion and social responsibility. Capitol Hill Day School children learn that they can make a positive impact on the world around them now and in the future.

Thank you for entrusting your children to our care. I hope you enjoyed walking the hallways and playground this past week, connecting with friends, teachers, and each other. Our year is off to a wonderful start because of this fantastic community.