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DC school HUB is the ultimate resource in your search for the best DC area daycares, preschools, private schools and independent schools. What you’ll find here:
- Every known daycare, preschool, and private school in the Washington, DC, area aka the DMV,
- Chatrooms to talk with experts, school officials, daycare professionals and other parents,
- Forums to ask and answer questions,
- A section to find Who’s Got Spots in their daycare or school currently and in the near future,
- Blog posts from area educational leaders,
- A calendar with events to visit and learn about daycares and schools,
- And much, much more!
Acton Academy of Washington, DC
A Blogad by Jason Gray, Head of School, Capitol Hill Day School
It has long been my belief that one of the true strengths of Capitol Hill Day School is that we live our mission and philosophy extremely well. As I move throughout the building and in and out of classrooms, evidence of this is abundant and the byproduct is clear. Children are engaged and enthusiastic learners. Subjects are integrated and field trips provide opportunities for experiential, hands on learning. Projects and topics of study are authentic, relevant, and designed to foster critical thinking. A rich sense of community and a genuine commitment to others permeates the environment.
Research from educational experts and the work of peer schools locally and across the country also provide supporting evidence for our approach to teaching and learning. In a recent reading of the National Association of Independent Schools quarterly publication, Independent School, I ran across the following quote. I trust you too will see the clear resonance with the Capitol Hill Day School mission and philosophy.
In a great school you learn not what to think but how to think –as well as how to collaborate effectively; how to engage well withothers who aren’t like yourself; how to know and care for yourself;how to take on meaningful challenges; how to be a friend; how tobuild community. The measure of the school is not how much youlearn, but how well you learn, and how well you learn how to learn.– Jonathan Howland, The Urban School of San Francisco
- “I will say that my middle school years at CHDS were fun, challenging, and rewarding in that I was incredibly well prepared for high school.”
- “CHDS is a great place for anyone, teaching students creatively and with hands-on learning.”
- “I wouldn’t change my CHDS middle school experience for the world. I loved growing up and expanding my learning opportunities and horizons at CHDS.”
By Neal M. Brown, Ed.D., Head of School, and Nina Chibber, Interim Coordinator of the Early Childhood Unit (ECU) at Green Acres School
Erika Christakis, author of The Importance of Being Little: What Pre-Schoolers Really Need from Grownups, hit all the right notes in this critique of the current state of early childhood education—and in her recent interviewon NPR’s Diane Rehm Show. Rather than treating young children as young adults—simultaneously overtaxing and under-engaging them with scripted teacher-directed lessons, and rushing them through transitions from activity to activity—we should be making sure that our youngest students learn how to form relationships, to observe, to explore, to create, to communicate, and to reflect on their learning and experiences.
Young children can best do so in a language- and idea-rich preschool environment full of joy, warmth, close relationships with teachers, and sufficient opportunities to learn through dialogue, play, and outdoor time with their peers. We should be attuned to the developmental readiness of children. We should be listening to them and hearing their ideas. We should be giving them opportunities every day to use their creativity, to make decisions and mistakes, and to develop the problem-solving skills needed for success in school and in life.
Christakis rightly points out that routinized, developmentally-inappropriate school work that many point to as “academic” represents a misguided approach that may address parental anxieties and perhaps meet some short-term goals—yet it does so at the expense of longer-term cognitive, social, and, yes, “academic” aims. Studies consistently demonstrate that young children’s play is strongly linked to cognitive and academic outcomes. In preschool, if we stay focused on children’s needs, with learning through play at the center, then we set them up for success in school and well beyond. As Jean Piaget once explained so well, “play is serious business.”