My almost three-year-old daughter had an interesting reaction to our move. When she arrived at the house, she began scampering around looking in each room to see what was there. Each look into a room was punctuated by her exclaiming, “wow”, there is a new toy, chair, etc. I had expected her to be excited, but I did not expect her to look at her old toys and furniture in such a new light. For her, everything seemed new, even if it was old, because it was placed differently in our new home and this brought with it excitement for her.
Her reaction has mirrored what I have felt as I have settled into my new professional home at Gross Schechter Day School. Yes, some things are truly new – the office, the much shorter daily commute, and the faces around me. On the other hand, some things are technically not new, such as the challenges and opportunities facing a Jewish day school. What my daughter has taught me is that context is incredibly important and seeing things in a new context can take the mundane and elevate it to a higher level.
As the summer builds towards the start of the school year, I am striving to learn about all things Schechter and getting to know our context better as I work to chart our course for the future. My commitment to you as the new Head of School is to listen, be transparent, and be honest. As the school’s lead administrator, I am partnering with our staff to create a culture of accountability, coordination, flexibility, and understanding. We are building a school that has capacity for growth.
We are already working to strengthen our communications. The staff is hard at work this summer ensuring that your child will have a meaningful year in the classroom and that parents will be more informed about and engaged with the activities happening throughout our school. We will be launching a new website that will make it easier for you to stay informed and create a strong digital presence for Schechter.
During the past two weeks, I have had the opportunity to sit with some key supporters of our school and hear why they have stayed involved with Schechter and how they think we can grow. I am looking forward to having many more of these opportunities. We will be setting up a series of open house gatherings during which you can tell me what you love about our school and offer suggestions where you see a place for change. The first one will be on Wednesday, July 31st, at in the Iris S. and Bert L. Wolstein Media Center at the school.
You will also find me enjoying a popsicle on the Schechter playground on Sunday, July 28th, at — a program open to all families — and also at Wade Oval Wednesday on August 7th, at (see attached Summer Family Events Schedule). Please come, (re)introduce yourself, and enjoy some summer fun with us!