Head of School Blog

Welcome Back to SF Day

I hope your summers have allowed you to spend time with family and friends and that you are feeling rejuvenated and restored. Wendy and I traveled and spent time with our families. Doing so provided me ample time to walk, wander, wonder, reflect, and exercise on a regular basis.   

I was also able to do a lot of the reading I was craving. In addition to books on leadership, organizational culture, and educational theory, Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries was perhaps the most inspirational. In Loonshots, Safi Bahkal chronicles the visionary thinking, ingenuity, unwavering resilience, and studiousness of individuals who pioneered world-changing innovations that transformed medicine, travel, and global commerce.  

Loonshots resonated with me because it expressed my deepest hope for our students. The innovators chronicled in the book were inquisitive dreamers and diligent thinkers. What stood out for me was their perseverance and how they prevailed over obstacles and obstruction. They personified a growth mindset, years before Carol Dweck’s research validated how schools can and should cultivate these mindsets in our students. 

I want every child to see themselves as innovators, creators, and agents of change. I want each of our students to be dreamers, to have the skill sets that enable them to plan and bring an idea to fruition and to be resilient and persistent. Watching young children play confirms that children are naturally inclined to be curious and innovative. The purpose of a school, therefore, is to nurture the innate creativity and inquisitiveness in children and provide experiences that develop the skill sets that enable students to realize an idea or dream. (Believing that they can is as important as knowing how.) 

Also included in my summer reading was the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) Accreditation Report, a document that will help our school chart the course to achieve the aspirations we have for our students. As you remember, we submitted our self-study in December and were visited by an accreditation team in February. This report was reviewed by the accreditation commission this summer and we are pleased to share that we received full seven-year accreditation status accompanied by a helpful list of commendations and recommendations for future planning. As mentioned in our end-of-year recap from the Board, the accreditation process is designed to inform our next strategic planning cycle, which we will be involving you in and communicating with you about throughout the course of the year.  

 

Our teachers will reconvene on August 19th at the California Academy of Sciences. We have arranged for Dr. Elizabeth Bagley to speak with us about environmental sustainability. There is strong interest among the faculty in mobilizing as a community around our environmental presence and responsibility.  We are eagerly anticipating the learning we can all embark upon, students and adults alike. 

In the coming weeks, you will be receiving additional information about the logistics of the new school year, including updates to our transportation procedures that are both environmentally responsive and important outreach to our neighbors. Thank you for your attention to these essential matters.

In the meantime, I am looking forward to seeing your children, and you, when school resumes on August 27th. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Mike Walker

Head of School

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