Excitement in the Air


As July turns to August, we all prepare to say a sad goodbye to another summer and an eager hello to another school year.  The 8 weeks allow time for the building to “rest and recover” and be prepared anew.  The floors are waxed, the walls have new paint, and the grass on the fields and playground is lush and green.  The 8 weeks allow time for our students and family to spend time occupied with swimming, camp, and embracing childhood.  The 8 weeks allow faculty to unwind, reflect, and charge up again for another year.

8 weeks of quiet (or relatively so).  8 weeks of no students in the halls.  8 weeks of no carpool lines. 8 weeks of no faculty meetings.  While peaceful and rejuvenating, it is 8 weeks of a building instead of a school.

Now, that is all about to change, and I welcome it.  Though I certainly feel like the 8 weeks passed in 8 days, and I wonder how summer (which in my childhood memories lasted a beautiful eternity) became only 8 weeks. I am excited.  I look forward to the reconnection of our incredible faculty community.  Sharing in the joyous occasions that occurred while we were apart, hearing about the exciting adventures that we partook in, and laughing in the newest anecdotes of children, friends, and family that make up our community story. Soon the halls and rooms will be filled with passionate teachers eager to set up their classrooms, plan with colleagues, and prepare for the year ahead.

What will make 2013-14 even better than the years that proceeded it?  How can I and my team grow each day to make the growing of the students visible and meaningful? How do we build on our strengths, identify and plan for areas of growth, and find new ways to make The Davis experience transformational for all members of our community?

These are the challenges and opportunities ahead of us, and I cannot wait to dive in.



2013-14 PD Slate at The Davis Academy (@davis_academy)

I am looking forward to another amazing year of faculty lead PD.  Thank you to all our facilitators for the coming year.

Project-Based Learning Facilitated by Kendrick (@khqp)and Rich O’Dell


Reading Comprehension Facilitated by Julie (@julieweiser) and Sharron (@ssims_s)


Character Development Facilitated by Martha (@marthachat) and Andra Lefkovits


Writing Instruction Facilitated by Rebecca (@rebfaye) and Jill Kossman


Advanced Technology Cohort    Facilitated by Missi (@missyballa) and Stacy (@21ststacy)

Weekly cross divisional and interdivisional meetings will focus on learning new instructional tools, implementing these in your classrooms, and reflecting on progress.  Participants will get the opportunity to learn new techniques as well as direct the content of sessions toward techniques they are currently using and seeing great student impact with.

Story Telling Cohort Facilitated by Missy Stein (@SteinatDavis) and Marilyn Price.

What do we remember most? Stories. Family stories, Torah parashot, fables and fairy tales are all examples of knowledge each of us has gained and remembered long-term (nearly fifty years for me!). Neuroscientists have recently found that humans gain greater understanding of complex material through storytelling. Stories give us a framework of understanding for information that may be new or incomprehensible.  The more you can incorporate storytelling in its many forms into your curriculum delivery, the wider net of understanding your students will have to grab onto. Bring us a particularly troubling unit, and we will help you re-design it around storytelling.


Reflections on the Building Learning Communities Conference (#BLC13)

“If you want to benchmark the future you first have to invent it.” Dr.  Yong Zhao

I just returned from 4 incredible days of learning from some of the leading practitioners and thinkers in the field of education.  Their passion for analyzing, reflecting, and impacting their students as well as the field of education radiated through their sessions and the interactions between fellow colleagues.  The challenge that we all face is how to educate a current population of students so as to prepare them best for a future that will not only differ from the future we were prepared for in our schooling, but also be significantly different than the current world they are living, learning and growing in.   The keystones to the education we grew up with, knowledge and the production of articles to display this knowledge, are still important today, but the access and rapidity at which all of us can access this knowledge combined with the abundance of content that is searchable and accessible instantaneously have introduced new equally important keystones.  Learning how to search for and evaluate “quality” content, being a contributor to this ever-growing knowledge base, and finding and building on your own passions are equally relevant and important.  I look forward to processing the incredible learning I experienced over the past 4 days and sharing this learning with my community.

Life, Learning, and Laughter Enthusiast

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