On Friday, March 12th, we welcomed grandfriends from all over the globe via Zoom to peek inside our classrooms. The event received a wonderful response. We started the morning with almost 300 computers logging into the introduction by Head of School John Suitor. Following a virtual assembly, grandfriends visited each of their student's classrooms where they shared their daily activities and were able to exchange direct greetings with each other. Below are some notes that we received following the event.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable morning for us here in Dubai (11 hours ahead of Boulder) to visit with our grandchildren (Bassam 6th grade, Kareem 4th grade and Ahmed first grade) in Boulder!
To see them participate with their teachers and classmates “live”.
Thank you very much for all the hard work and time you extended to make it all work.
Thank you all so much!! What a lovely zoom Grandparents' Day event it was...well orchestrated, inclusive and absolutely marvelous to get to see all that our beloved grandchildren are accomplishing with their friends and classmates! Thank-you, BCD!! It was so uplifting and such a joyous treat!
God bless each and everyone of you who assisted and participated in the event!
We extend a very special thank you to our Development Department for their coordination of this event.
On a very chilly morning in February 2021, BCD Elementary Spelling Bee finalists gathered on the sport court despite the weather to spell it out - because…the show must go on. The event was broadcast into all elementary classrooms and to anxious parents via Zoom. At the end of the hour, it was Trevor who was named this year's winner! Congratulations to Trevor and all his competitors on an effort requiring stealth well beyond just spelling. Thank you to all the faculty and staff who made this event possible. We appreciate your efforts to make the show go on!
“I wish I had been here from the beginning”, said my older son half-way through 7th grade at BCD a couple of years ago. When I asked him why, he gave me several reasons: The teachers, the students, the community, the opportunities to explore new interest areas, the leadership opportunities, the service projects, the trips, and last but not least “I am finally getting how to balance academics and the rest of my interests- and I don’t have to choose one or the other- I can just be me”. I liked his answers and with our second son saying to me just the other day that he too wishes he had been at BCD “for more time than I will have here in middle school”, I decided to see how much their comments may be more than a personal story. As a trained education researcher, looking further, deeper and more closely is what I am passionate about; -and when personal experience matches with solid data, I am calling that a “Great Day!”
The Colorado Diversity Network will host their annual Diversity Hiring Fair on Saturday, February 6th from 1:00 - 3:00pm via Zoom. The fair is a free and open event to anyone, but is designed to support educators of color considering careers with independent schools.
BCD is a proud founding member of CDN, a partnership of Colorado independent schools working to enhance faculty and staff trainings focused on issues of equity, inclusion, and diversity.
Planning for this school year began last spring. In order to open school with health and safety top of mind, we made a great deal of staffing, programmatic, and infrastructure investments totaling nearly $1 million. This video outlines some of what we accomplished.
As the calendar year comes to a close, please take a moment to consider joining Gail and me in making a gift to the BCD Fund. 100% of our faculty, staff, and Board of Trustees have already participated. If we earn 100% of our parents’ participation, we have a anonymous donor who will donate an additional $25,000! Pleasehelp us leverage this gift by scheduling your donation to BCD today.
Every gift is meaningful, and, together, our philanthropy lifts our community. Each dollar you give will help support our faculty and staff through continued education and professional development, and money raised supports strategic, long-term initiatives that are critical to our school’s financial health.
Thank you, be well, and please consider making your gift to the BCD Fund today!
BCD teachers work hard to intentionally create joy in their classrooms. Joyful learning experiences can shape a student's lifelong attitudes about education and develop intrinsic motivation. Read more about BCD's use of the Joyful Classroom framework.
We have much to be grateful for this year. We just need to remember to pause and say thank you. BCD's Head of Preschool, Kath Courter, shares her family tradition of passing along an attitude of gratitude through lessons that are both simple and sometimes really hard in her latest blog.
BCD’s Head of Preschool, Kath Courter, provides helpful advice on talking to children about the election in today's blog post. Helping children learn to talk about political differences of opinion is important and models for them how people can disagree and still be civil – even friendly – with each other.
We were thrilled to have Michael Franti visit our talent show assembly with a special message for the kids to speak their truth, work hard, and be nice to people. We're even more thrilled to share it with all of you on Facebook. Have a wonderful weekend, Bulldogs!
In The Speed of Trust, Stephen Covey writes one thing “undergirds and affects the quality of every relationship, every communication…every effort in which we are engaged. That one thing is trust.” While trust traditionally forms the bedrock of all school-family partnerships, it is especially important this school year. From election year politics to social injustices to the pandemic, rarely have we tackled a year like 2020. Uncertainty lies around every corner, and never in my nearly 30 years of independent school education has it been so critically important that schools and families work in partnership to build trust in our communities.
It’s certainly not surprising to know that students learn best when schools and families have robust partnerships. Yet, those partnerships are much harder to develop and nurture in 2020-21 than they were a year ago. Ironically, the health and safety measures we have in place for the purpose of protecting our community result in the distancing of families from in-person connections. If school is in session at all, parents drop off their children in carline or Hug ‘n’ Go, are restricted from entering campus, and can’t participate in natural community-building activities like meeting on the playground after school. Furthermore, intentional community building efforts such as back-to-school gatherings, community socials, and all-school assemblies are also not part of the “new normal.” How, then, will we build the type of community our constituents can depend on?
Over the course of the past six months I have been collecting advice from experts across a variety of fields (education, business, psychology, and more) that will help us build trust in our community. If we consider these suggestions as the year progresses, we’ll have a much better chance at overcoming the obstacles in our way. And, who knows, maybe we’ll emerge a stronger community as a result.
Assume good intentions and operate from the fundamental premise that families and school personnel have their children’s best interests at heart. Put our students at the center of our thinking.
Forgive easily and be empathetic to others. Stress and anxiety levels are high and all of us could use some extra breathing room.
Simplify. At school we are focusing on the core tenets of our education and program. Try this at home as well to lift unnecessary burdens.
Communicate frequently, especially informally. Small gestures of gratitude can have a huge influence on trust building.
Be consistent and authentic as we parent and teach our children. They have an incredible ability to see and feel when something’s not right.
Remember, this is a temporary situation. This, too, shall pass. Be optimistic about the future and think positively.
Don’t forget to play. Our world is full of restrictions; be sure to find time for joy.
Way back in 1997 James Comer and Norris Haynes, Professors at Yale University, wrote an article for Edutopia titled, “The Home-School Team: An Emphasis on Parent Involvement.” In it they remarked, children “constantly observe how the significant adults in their lives treat one another, how decisions are made and executed, and how problems are solved. All the experiences children have, both in and out of school, help shape their sense that someone cares about them, their feelings of self-worth and competency, their understanding of the world around them, and their beliefs about where they fit into the scheme of things.”
As the significant adults in their lives, our job is to deepen our relationships and build our level of trust so that the children we love and the students we serve develop a greater sense of certainty in what are without question uncertain times. If we follow the advice of Comer, Haynes, and others, I am confident we can fulfill Stephen Covey’s assurance that “trust is something [we] can do something about. In fact, [we] can get good at creating it!” Doing so will not only allow us to navigate this school year, but it will also provide a springboard for school-parent partnerships for years to come.
Livi Gray's (Class of 2020) powerful Capstone project, Faces of America, was featured in the August issue of Boulder Lifestyle magazine. We are very proud of the work she did both in her artistry and in using her voice. Great job, Livi!
We write to you today with heavy hearts, hurting for those members of our community and the greater world who have and continue to suffer the injustices of systemic racism. We grieve withthe people of color in our community and beyond over the continual loss of lives as a result of an unjust system, and we stand with those who are underrepresented, misrepresented, and disenfranchised, all of whom have far too much experience with prejudice, inaction, and inequality.
The events of the past weeks, beginning with the brutal murder of George Floyd, magnify the urgency of work in social justice, privilege, bias, and identity. While we reflect on and are grateful for the growth our community has experienced in these areas, we acknowledge our shortcomings and recognize we have still have so much more work to do, individually, as a school community, and as a larger, global society.
Today, tomorrow, and for years to come, we understand we must demand more of ourselves. As educators, we have a profound responsibility to work with young people daily in our efforts to dismantle the systemic racism we know exists both within and beyond the borders of our campus. We are and will remain hopeful that a BCD education will empower our students to become future leaders who will work to end racism, prejudice, and discrimination in all of their forms. We invite you to stand with us.
Thank you for your partnership, and please look for an email from Sterling Kranjcec (School Counselor) and Randi Reinhold (Coordinator of Equity and Inclusion) containing resources regarding how to talk about these difficult topics with your children.
John Suitor, Kath Courter, Jill Johnson, Dan Welch, Gabe Hernan, Susan Boyle, Ann-Marie Tewey, and Julie Griffith
We are so proud of the 4 BCD alumni featured in this video project by the Wunder Collective (headed by BCD alumna Kristian Moley) about inspiring, young change makers. Sydney, Ruthie, Reese, and Elizabeth share their 8th grade Capstone projects and their passions. Well done, Bulldogs!
Good citizenship is the most important lesson Boulder Country Day teaches because good citizens become great leaders. This year, I had the chance to interview four graduating 8th Graders, all of whom will wow us one day. They will end their BCD careers this week presenting their capstone projects which focus on community service. In the midst of a pandemic, when self-management becomes mandatory and expectations become lax, these four students maintained their commitment. They have taken the opportunity to do good despite having several doors close in their face including the one that connects them with the world.
I hope you watch and consider their stories. I hope you’re inspired. I hope you know the future is bright. And I hope you make a choice to do more good, if for no other reason than because it is such an easy one to make.
On the beautifully sunny morning of Friday, May 22nd, Boulder Country Day School celebrated the graduation of their 8th grade students in a very unique way. Families, including loved ones living far and near, joined a graduation Zoom where speeches were made, students celebrated, and promotion awarded. Students and their families then came to campus and lined the parking lot facing toward the school, spaced in accordance with social distancing guidelines. The ceremony was performed from the front lawn by loud speaker by Head of School, John Suitor. From their cars, often poking out of their sunroofs, the graduates enjoyed stories from their years spent at BCD. To close the event, each student was ‘called forward’ to receive their diploma and other tokens of celebration. As the families exited the parking lot, they were waved off by teachers and other BCD families lined up along Nautilus Court as they drove through their final carline at BCD. While different, it was a spectacular morning that no one will forget.
On May 18th, BCD 3rd grade teacher, Amanda Demler, rode her bike 85 miles to visit all 13 of her students at home. She left her home at 7:00am and rode from house to house on a trip that included 7 hours of riding and 5 hours of socializing from a distance.
While her students know of her athletic abilities, when the idea of a bike ride to every single house first came up on a class Zoom meeting, they were unsure. “That is very far!,” said Ryan Welch.
Demler, who has been a teacher at BCD for 16 year, says, “All of my students know that I have a passion for endurance sports. So I asked myself, why not?” As a 12-timed competitor in Wisconsin’s notorius Birkebeiner race, a 55K ski marathon, she has exemplified for her students what passion and commitment look like.
“This epic adventure was not only a way for me to see the smiles of my students and drop off a card and treats, but a way to show them that they too can do great things to inspire even in the middle of a pandemic. No matter what storm you go through you should use your talents to pitch in and make things better for someone else,” says Demler.
Thank you Ms. Demler for making a difference and thank you to all our teachers who have gone the extra mile this spring. You’re the best!