Bring a Parent to School events exceed expectations and a curriculum that connects the dots

      As the fortunate grandparents of seven, four of whom are currently attending private schools in major US cities (DC and Dallas), one who just graduated  from a NY school and is attending Kenyon College, I want to share my enthusiasm for BCD with you.  None of these institutions can surpass BCD’s programs, physical plant, imaginative staff, confidence and community-building tone. The integrated curriculum seen across the spectrum of grades, is, as my grandchildren would say, “awesome”.  We are most grateful to see our grandchildren wholeheartedly embracing BCD’s community spirit and love of exploration and learning.  Thank you for your “bring a (grand)parent to school” invitation and for everyone’s efforts. (feedback after our Bring a Parent to School event – please add your comments below!)

the school community watched the wonderful video created by Assoc. Head of Sch. Leigh Doherty and Alex Lederman ’15

Attendance, and more importantly the enthusiasm for and feelings, at our recent “Bring a Parent to School” events exceeded expectations.  We are grateful for the passion and participation of our vibrant school community.  It was especially meaningful to share what makes our school intentional and relevant across all grades, to provide tours that demonstrated how we provide an extraordinary program that asks every learner to actively engage and absorb so much within our rich and broad-based curriculum.  I know it was affirming and meaningful for our students and teachers to host visitors, to share our comprehensive and challenging curriculum, and to be seen in action during a typical day at BCD.

There are many things I have loved about being Head of School, but one thing I have cherished the most has been the opportunity to observe each child’s unique trajectory here at Berkshire Country Day. I have had an inspiring view of our students’ individual multi-year experiences in connecting the dots between what they learn in school and what they see in the real world; between individual areas of study; from grade to grade.

 

Our intentional curriculum has informed and guided those connections, starting in Preschool. Inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach, our Preschool program, now expanded to include two-year-old children, provides a nurturing, stimulating educational environment that supports each child’s learning style and developmental readiness. Experienced teachers encourage children to create, play, take risks, listen, and find their voices as they explore the many resources of our historic 27-acre campus.

In Grades K3, children proceed through predictable stages, each at their own pace, and each in their own way. Our Lower School classrooms and program have been carefully structured to support those individual journeys. Through guided discovery and inquiry, our expert faculty help children build a solid foundation in reading, writing, and mathematics; explore and expand their understanding of the world around them through science and social studies; discover their creative talents through music and art; and grow as responsible citizens through our social curriculum, Responsive Classroom®.

Fluent learners by third grade, our students enthusiastically embrace the challenges and opportunities of Middle School, where they adeptly move from the concrete to the abstract. The Middle School program cultivates confidence and self-sufficiency, building the skills that will help students become independent learners, articulate advocates for themselves and their work, and motivated community members. They begin to take deeper advantage of our arts and athletics program, and are challenged by an increasingly vigorous academic program. As their world expands, they benefit tremendously from the fact that Berkshire Country Day School offers the resources of a larger school with the intimacy and sustained connections of a smaller one.

Finally, our Upper School program is thoughtfully designed to allow our students to become the very best versions of themselves—as students, community members, and citizens — demonstrating increased levels of achievement in academics, the arts, and athletics. In subject matter, as well as in quality and vigor of discourse, many of our classes resemble high school classes. We set high expectations for Upper School students, fueling their acceleration toward greater independence and maturity as they take full advantage of the many resources BCD offers.

At the end of their personal BCD journeys, our 9th graders graduate with a strong sense of self, able to see how they will engage across multiple dimensions and areas of study. They are well-prepared to take on any high school program, and ready and eager to assume a variety of leadership roles.

By |2018-02-08T06:40:20+00:00February 8th, 2018|

About the Author:

Prior to joining BCD in 2008, Paul was Head of Lower School at Moses Brown School in Providence, RI, an independent coeducational day school, where he had been since 1999. He spent six years as Head of School of The School in Rose Valley in Rose Valley, PA, and before that in an elementary education teaching position at Germantown Friends School, an independent day school in Philadelphia, PA, and at a public school in Vermont. Paul, who lives in Stockbridge with his wife, Margaret, and their two children, is an avid music fan, plays guitar, and enjoys hiking, biking, and the many cultural offerings offered in the Berkshires.