DC School HUB
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DCschoolHUB 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!
Summer is upon us and for a lot of center directors in the area it leads to one question: to pool or not to pool. When creating that fun filled jammed packed summer calendar you have to decide early, are my kids going to go swimming this summer? Parents expect great fieldtrips, more importantly parents expect trips worthy of that lovely $200 activity fee. So when you’re calling museums, local pizza shops, and entertainers that sing silly songs and do magic tricks-in the back of your mind you are still pondering the pool question.
It’s a small daycare world so you hear about other cheaper summer camps who are going to the pool three times a week. Parents stop by the office to ask how you will incorporate “water” into the summer curriculum (true story). The kids who plan on attending the summer camp ask daily, hourly, every minute “we going swimming?”.
Why is it so hard to decide you ask? Several reasons. Field trips, swimming or not, require extra staff. Pools require a higher level of monitoring than watching kids in a large classroom. The pool’s lifeguards are often sophomores returning home from college who are underpaid and over attentive to their phones. Locker rooms require staff to help kids change and make sure they aren’t staring at the 85 year old naked man in the corner. Highest on the pool worry list is drowning. When I first got into the childcare field in northern Virginia there were 4 deaths (at local surrounding daycares) due to drownings in one summer. The deaths were due to children who were left unattended or lost in the mass of children who take over the pool in the summer. This for me was the catalyst for alternative thinking. What can we do for water fun that does not involve trips to the pool? Water balloon fights, super soaker challenges, maybe even dunk the director…maybe.
By Joseph E. Powers, The Woods Academy, Head of School
“To live in places filled with yet.” These are the final words of Carol Dweck’s 2014 TEDx talk in Sweden. Almost everything we do in school is measured and quantified. The end of the year means outputs like final grades and standardized test score assessment. Performance is measured everywhere, from school to sports (baseball has a metric for EVERYTHING). I will admit, I have become somewhat of a numbers “geek” and enjoy the analysis. It helps tell the story and is extremely useful for planning purposes, however, numbers can’t tell the whole story.
The end of the school year always brings some good quality reflection time. There is a great deal of qualitative data that comes from this reflection. Stories from the year are remembered and reflected upon. Some very personal. Some include failures. Some celebrate triumphs. All remind me that nothing is ever finished when you are working in schools. A report card and a standardized test are just a snapshot of where you are now, as opposed to being seen as documentation of a finished product. Yes, the end of a school year brings with it closure, but it must equally be seen as a window to “yet.”
Yet implies that there is more to come. Yet means there is more work to be done. Yet, is essential for growth. Schools are in the business of growing human capital and we must operate with the belief that nothing is fixed in the mind or body of a child (or an adult for that matter). READ MORE
by Dr. Neal Brown, Head of School, Green Acres School
My mentor Ted Sizer emphasized that schools’ most important purpose should be to help students “use their minds well.” Embedded in this simple statement is the notion that a broad, general, or liberal education—rooted in daily exposure to math, science, literature, social sciences, and the arts—helps all students to think more critically and more creatively.
Last month, I came across Fareed Zakaria’s Post Op Ed article, “Why America’s Obsession with STEM Education is Dangerous.” Like many schools, we have promoted STEM practices because they support our notion that students learn best from hands-on experiences. Through increased units in our science classes featuring robotics, engineering, and technical and/or design challenges, we see our students applying their learning, problem-solving skills, collaborative skills, and creativity to real-world challenges. This perfectly fits our progressive approach. Just recently, for example, I observed one our Middle School science classes where the students were testing their structures for how they would hold up to various natural disasters. Students in teams watched with great excitement to see whether the “hurricane” (aka leaf blower) would knock over the structures that they designed specifically to avoid this outcome! READ MORE