An Article From The Atlantic on The Importance of Joy in Learning

"Adults tend to talk about learning as if it were medicine: unpleasant, but necessary and good for you. Why not instead think of learning as if it were food—something so valuable to humans that they have evolved to experience it as a pleasure? The more a person likes fresh, healthy food, the more likely that individual is to have a good diet. Why can’t it be the same with learning? Let children learn because they love to—think only of a 2-year-old trying to talk to see how natural humans’ thirst for knowledge is. Then, in school, help children build on their natural joy in learning.

Joy should not be trained out of children or left for after-school programs. The more difficult a child’s life circumstances, the more important it is for that child to find joy in his or her classroom. "Pleasure" is not a dirty word. And it’s not antithetical to the goals of K-12 public education. It is, in fact, the sine qua non."

(Excerpt from the Atlantic Article: Joy A Subject Schools Lack)

February 4 @ GFS: I Am Not Racist, Am I?



I’m Not Racist… Am I? is a feature documentary about how this next generation is going to confront racism This film will be screened on February 4th at the Germantown Friends School. Filmmakers asked 12 teenagers from New York City to come together for one school year to talk about race and privilege in a series of workshops and in conversations with friends and family members. Andre's leadership in engaging schools in discussion, reflection and action on racism, socioeconomic status, multiculturalism and issues of equity has been truly remarkable.

Location: Germantown Friends School (6:30 - 9:00pm), Loeb Performing Arts Center


NAIS Report on Highly Strategic Boards

This study found five key factors related to strategic effectiveness and institutional performance of NAIS schools:

  1. The number of parents on the board doesn’t determine board effectiveness;
  2. Onboarding of new board members is associated with effective boards;
  3. Boards that make good use of subcommittees for executing their work are more effective;
  4. Effective boards are positively associated with the performance of their school; and
  5. Positive relationships between school heads and board chairs help boards to be more effective in their work.

Directed to school leaders, the study recommends that effective boards should consider a variety of characteristics and skills of potential new board members; build in intentional onboarding to acclimate new board members in a way that is purposeful and sustained over time; and incorporate activities that bring members together in collaborative and cooperative ways. 

Community Partnerships Committee November Update

Need-to-knows from the November meeting:

1.  The committee is working to improve the relationship with a variety of government, cultural, civic and business organizations in and around the TPS community.  Direct outreach will commence the first week of December.

2.  The committee has initiated a task force to analyze and provide solutions for daily parking shortages in both the SoLo and Lombard Street lots.

3.  Community service is a big part of the school's mission.  However, it seems service opportunities are limited due to scheduling issues, age requirements and travel complications.  The committee will investigate what can be done to improve these options for the school and how they are effectively communicated to the school constituents at large.

Advancement Committee November Update

Highlights from the November Advancement Committee Meeting:

  • We recapped the current solicitation strategy of both the Board of Trustees and our Leadership Donors, as well as the Leadership Donor Appreciation Event  
  • Discussion around alumni engagement, regarding #GivingTuesday; the upcoming celebration of those faculty/staff members who have been at TPS for 25+ years; the alumni happy hour at Ten Stone; the collection of alumni data; and a potential Homecoming Weekend for alumni surrounding EATS and the annual un-meeting
  • Strategized end of the calendar year and end of the fiscal year


Building Committee November Meeting Update

Highlights from the November Building Committee Meeting:

  • Meeting with Sixth Grade teachers to evaluate the 3rd floor building project. 
  • Jane and Jane to prepare presentation on the Vision Plan for the Board meeting on Dec. 9.
  • Jane and Jane to develop case study on Summer 2016 renovation project.
  • Sam to evaluate Schwartz Siegel Building porch issues.
  • Next Building Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 5, 2016 at 4:30 pm in the Design Thinking Room in the Garage.

Building Committee October Update

Highlights from the 10/6 Building Committee meeting:

  • Carol, Brian, and Charles will review the mechanical equipment replacement plan and priorities.
  • Carol will hire a consultant to do a facilities report of the Lombard Building with the goal of completing the report by Thanksgiving.
  • Jane LB, Jane Ahn, Charles, Neesa and Rick will meet to develop and further document the Vision Plan.
  • Jane Ahn and Jane LB will develop a case study for the summer renovation project for 2016 that can be evaluated by the Board committees.

Community Partnerships October Update

Highlights from the 10/13 Community Partnerships meeting:

  • The committee is re-imagining the nature of the committee's goals - transitioning from simple reaction to community issues to proactive outreach, ambassadorship and solidification of community relationships
  • The committee will set definitive goals for the 2015-2016 school year, including relationship management with community organizations and neighboring institutions, as well as outreach to the local business community to further partnerships with TPS family.  Each committee member will aim to 'own' several relationships with these organizations.
  • The committee will also assist the larger board with framing the 'community partnerships' portion of school's strategic planning process.

Communications Committee Update

Highlights from the 10/7 Communications Committee meeting:

  • Reviewed Board Goals for the year and identified those that the Communications Committee should focus on.

  • Decided to move forward with a branding campaign around the tagline it's that kind of school

  • Revisited last year's audit and plan to prioritize key recommendations from that to drive work for this year.